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Behind the Scenes

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Thu, November 2 2017

The Unknown History of the Curtiss P-40E Lope's Hope

How a single e-mail helped uncover the previously unknown history of the Museum's Curtiss P-40E Lope’s Hope.

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Flight Lieutenant Robert W. Lynch, Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 111F
Fri, October 27 2017

Record-Breaking Rocket Sled Created Modern Safety Standards

On a clear December day in 1954, Colonel John Stapp strapped in for a ride on the Sonic Wind No. 1, a rocket sled, breaking speed records and researching safety standards in the process. The story of Stapp's rocket sled will be part of the upcoming Nation of Speed exhibition.

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Rocket Sled, Sonic Wind I
Thu, October 26 2017

Humanitarian Aviation Reaching Communities in Need

When many people think about aviation, a few things come to mind: the military, commercial airline flights, or shipping cargo. What they don’t often think of is a literal surgery room with wings—one of the stories featured in the new Thomas W. Haas We All Fly exhibition as part of the reimagining of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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We All Fly
Tue, October 24 2017

Ready for Lift-Off: Reimagining Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

We are reimagining the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Here's what you need to know and how you can stay connected to all the ways that we're changing.

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Exploring the Planets
Sat, October 14 2017

See Columbia in Your City or At Home

Today, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia will go on display at Space Center Houston, the first of four stops in the national tour Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. This is the first time the Command Module has left the nation’s capital since 1971. If you plan to see the Module in your city—the tour will travel to St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle over the next two years—we have an excellent way to prepare. Or if you’re looking to dive into Apollo history on the comfort of your own couch, we also have you covered.

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See Columbia in Your City or At Home

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Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia
Fri, October 13 2017

How a "Flying Pickup Truck" Survived Pearl Harbor

The historic importance of the Sikorsky JRS-1—a weathered blue-gray airplane now on display at our Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia—is not because of the type of airplane it is. Its importance lies in one of the places the JRS-1 has been and survived: Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

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Sikorsky JRS-1
Mon, October 2 2017

Join us for #AskAnArchivist on Twitter

Send questions to archivists from the National Air and Space Museum Archives on Twitter this October 4, during #AskAnArchivist!

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Archivists place large format drawings in customized folders and storage cabinets.
Tue, September 12 2017

Astronaut Shares How to Get to Space

Can you imagine your teacher being chosen to be a NASA astronaut? Students in Joe Acaba’s secondary math and science classes in Florida can. Acaba was one of 11 candidates selected for the 2004 astronaut class. The process to become an astronaut is one of the most competitive and highly selective processes in the world. Do you think you have what it takes?

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Selfie with Astronaut Joe Acaba
Tue, August 15 2017

Road Trip to Totality

On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse is sweeping the nation. All of North America will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, but 14 states across the U.S. will have the unique opportunity to see a total solar eclipse, called the path of totality. There are approximately 12.5 million people living in the path of totality—an occurrence that happens only once where you live every 375 years! On the day of the eclipse, STEM in 30, a TV show we produce at the National Air and Space Museum for middle school students, will be broadcasting live from the path of totality in Liberty, Missouri, starting at 1:30 pm EST.

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Space Acorn
Tue, August 8 2017

Viewing A Solar Eclipse Safely through an Artist’s Eye

In this Van Dyke Brown photographic print from the from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum art collection, Jim Leisy (1950 – 2014) shows us one way to safely view a solar eclipse.  On first glance we see an unidentified person wandering aimlessly in a dreamy atmosphere with a box over their head. As the title Solar Eclipse suggests, the cosmic observer is actually catching a glimpse of the fleeting phenomenon with a pinhole projector.

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Solar Eclipse by Jim Leisy

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