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Behind the Scenes

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Fri, October 30 2020

Famous Correspondents of Arthur C. Clarke

Throughout his long life, famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke corresponded with numerous people. This blog examine the correspondents that Clarke had with Stanley Kubrick, rocket scientist and pioneer Wernher von Braun, and Irish fantasy author Edward Plunkett, who published under the name Lord Dunsany.

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Arthur C. Clarke
Thu, October 29 2020

Herbert Desind: A Passion for Spaceflight

The Archives of the National Air and Space Museum holds three million images in various photographic formats, covering the breadth and depth of the history of aviation and space flight. One such collection is the Herbert Stephen Desind Collection, which covers the history of space flight and exploration.  

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Herbert Stephen Desind Collection
Mon, October 26 2020

So What’s Up with the SOVA? Accessing Digital Air and Space Collections on the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives

Part of the fun of research is getting elbow deep into the original documents that make up the collections of the National Air and Space Museum Archives. But we also understand that it is difficult for many researchers to make in-person visits to the Archives at the Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. As an alternative, you can experience the NASM Archives (and other Smithsonian collections) anywhere through the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA)!

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Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA) Homepage
Tue, April 28 2020

Preserving Flak-Bait: Reversing a 1970s Restoration

In the latest blog about the preservation of Flak-Bait, conservator Lauren Horelick describes the work being done on the overpaint of the aircraft.

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Preserving Flak-Bait: Reversing a 1970s Restoration

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Flak-Bait Details in UV Light
Thu, April 16 2020

Conserving the Creativity that Saved the Apollo 13 Astronauts

Conservator Lauren Gottschlich explores the conservation work recently done on a replica of the altered lithium hydroxide filter used during the Apollo 13 mission.

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Apollo 13 Lithium Hydroxide Canisters
Mon, February 3 2020

Conserving Michael Collins' Apollo 11 Razor

Conservation of Michael Collins' razor from the Apollo 11 mission presented conservators with a complex ethical dilemma for deciding the best treatment approach: how to arrest degradation while maintaining the historical elements of the artifact.

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Michael Collins Shaving Kit
Tue, December 31 2019

Top 5 Stories of 2019

2019 was a big year at the National Air and Space Museum, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, and worked hard on our ongoing renovation. We shared stories about these projects and more on the blog this year. Let’s dive into five of the most popular stories of 2019.

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John F. Kennedy
Tue, November 26 2019

Conducting Planetary Research Here on Earth

Planetary scientist Emily Martin takes you behind the scenes of a recent field work trip to Iceland. 

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Field Work Selfie
Mon, November 4 2019

Farewell to the Zeiss Planetarium Projector

Since its opening, and until recent years, our Zeiss Model VIa optical planetarium projector has brought the wonder of the night sky to countless visitors. The Zeiss Company no longer services the over 40 year-old model, and though its stars are as sharp as ever, and its skies deep in their dramatic blackness, its celestial motors have become weary, so it has been retired in favor of an ever-improving digital projection system that offers many advantages to meet modern programming needs. The Albert Einstein Planetarium theater itself is also closing as our multi-year renovation progresses through the Museum, but it will eventually reopen as a fully digital experience. Now that we are saying good-bye to its original projector, the Zeiss Model VIa, the question is, of course, how did it get here

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Zeiss Projector
Mon, September 30 2019

The Power of Black and White Photography: Learning to See in Shades of Grey

A museum staff photographer reflects on photographing in black and white and learning to see in shades of grey.

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247-D Propeller

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