Topic

Behind the Scenes

Showing 131 - 140 of 297
Thu, July 21 2016

Curator’s Dilemma: Displaying the Lunar Module

The Museum’s Lunar Module LM-2 represents a dilemma, at least for the current generation of Smithsonian curators and conservators. What stages of its history are most important, and how should it to be presented to the public?

Read More about Curator’s Dilemma: Displaying the Lunar Module
favorite
Wed, July 13 2016

Hand-building Radar Systems

Radar instruments play an important role in our study of Earth’s nearest neighbors, such as the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Radar can provide a range of information regarding the materials that make up the surface of a planet and offer a unique perspective on the underlying structure. To get the most out of our research it is important to have a fundamental understanding of the hardware that makes up a radar instrument. What better way to achieve this than build our own.

Read More about Hand-building Radar Systems
favorite
Fri, July 1 2016

My (Almost) Night at the Museum in 1976

As the National Air and Space Museum gears up for its All Night at the Museum 40th anniversary celebration July 1-2, I can’t help but recall the night in July 1976 that I almost spent at the newly opened Museum — until the police found me and returned me to my parents, that is.

Read More about

My (Almost) Night at the Museum in 1976

favorite
Mon, June 27 2016

Enterprise Studio Model Back on Display

The studio model of the Star Trek starship Enterprise is now on exhibit in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. After taking it off exhibit in 2014, assembling a special advisory committee, examining it using x-ray radiography, searching out long-lost photos, and planning the work in great detail, months of hard work culminated in several weeks of painting, detail work, rewiring, and final assembly. In the end, the whole project was a tremendous collaboration.

Read More about

Enterprise Studio Model Back on Display

favorite
Thu, June 16 2016

Celebrating 40 Years: Highlights from 1976 to 1986

For more than four decades, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has celebrated the greatest achievements in aviation and space history.

Read More about Celebrating 40 Years: Highlights from 1976 to 1986
favorite
Thu, June 16 2016

Field Report from the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program

I’m snatching moments to write this from Chile, sitting on the floor of the airport, or bouncing up winding mountain roads in a van. I’m here as an Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador, with eight other ambassadors.

Read More about Field Report from the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program
favorite
Wed, June 15 2016

A Box of Time in the Time and Navigation Exhibition

In our exhibition Time and Navigation visitors can set their watches by a working cesium frequency standard, commonly known as an “atomic clock,” on loan from the National Museum of American History. The exhibit allows visitors to see different methods of measuring time, including mechanical and electrical clocks. A digital display on the atomic clock shows the global reference known as the Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. A separate display connected to the clock shows local time, which visitors can use to set their watches. While the device is not connected to outside time sources, it will keep accurate time within a tiny fraction of a second over the foreseeable future. We jokingly called it our “Box of Time.”

Read More about

A Box of Time in the Time and Navigation Exhibition

favorite
Wed, June 15 2016

Take to the Air in the Smithsonian’s Balloon

Visitors to our Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on June 18, are in for a real treat. In addition to the wide variety of aircraft that will fly in for the event and the other special programs planned, Andrew Richardson, the owner of Adams Balloons LLC of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will be making tethered flights with a new Smithsonian hot air balloon, weather permitting. Realizing that we have a beautiful example of a classic Adams wicker balloon basket on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center, Richardson asked if we would accept a modern hot air balloon envelope sporting the Smithsonian logo and colors into the collection. While the Museum has a world-class collection of balloon baskets and gondolas, we did not, in fact, have an envelope. Anxious to fill that gap, we quickly accepted Richardson’s generous offer.

Read More about Take to the Air in the Smithsonian’s Balloon
favorite
Thu, May 12 2016

Adjusting Our Atomic Clock for the Leap Second

How do you keep time? We use an atomic clock in our exhibition Time and Navigation that is accurate to the tiniest fraction of a second and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Except, of course, when we need to account for a leap second—a second added to the clock to account for Earth’s slowing rotation. Curious how we added that second or how an atomic clock works? Find out in our newest blog post. 

Read More about Adjusting Our Atomic Clock for the Leap Second
favorite
Thu, May 12 2016

A “Box of Time” in the Time and Navigation Exhibition

In our exhibition Time and Navigation visitors can set their watches by a working cesium frequency standard, commonly known as an “atomic clock,” on loan from the National Museum of American History. The exhibit allows visitors to see different methods of measuring time, including mechanical and electrical clocks.

Read More about A “Box of Time” in the Time and Navigation Exhibition
favorite

Pages