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Behind the Scenes

Showing 181 - 190 of 299
Tue, January 20 2015

Opening the Best Package Ever!

It was particularly timely that during the hustle and bustle of the 2014 holidays, I, along with curators Jennifer Levasseur and Cathleen Lewis, had a very special package to open for the very first time.

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Tue, December 30 2014

Advising on the Star Trek Starship Enterprise

Who do you call when you need to know everything there is to know about the Star Trek starship Enterprise? As the curator for that artifact—the original 11-foot model used in filming the Star Trek television program that aired from 1966 until 1969—I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and learning about Star Trek. The Museum has a lot of source material to rely upon: the acquisition, restoration, and exhibit record for this artifact stands at more than 1000 pages (and growing). In fact, I hired an intern two summers ago just to create a comprehensive index for that record so that I could know, for certain, whether I had checked every relevant document in it when searching for an answer. That review of the Museum’s records was a part of the move of the model that I have been planning for several years.  

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Tue, December 16 2014

Tom Stafford’s Jingle Bells and Wally Schirra’s Harmonica

It is not unusual for astronauts who find themselves in space around December 25 to display a little holiday spirit. Gemini VI astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra were no exception.  

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Tue, December 2 2014

Making Moves in Milestones

If you visit the Museum in Washington, DC, you may notice a few key objects have been removed from display. The last several weeks have been especially busy for our Collections Processing Unit. More than 15 objects have already been moved as part of the major renovation of the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall—scheduled to open on the Museum’s 40th Anniversary in 2016. Recently, Sputnik 1, Explorer I, Pioneer 10, Mariner 2, and the Goddard Rockets have all been delicately removed from display and transported offsite to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for conservation.

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Sun, November 9 2014

Seeing Inside Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Using CT Scans

Museum staff recently transported Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit to the National Museum of Natural History for a CT scan. Curator Cathleen Lewis shares her experience as one of those staff members and explains how CT scanning can help in preservation efforts.

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Thu, October 30 2014

#TBT Historical Research Center

Nothing says ‪#‎ThrowbackThursday‬ quite like Polaroids. Enjoy this look back at our Historical Research Center - an early predecessor to our Archives and Library, which was located in the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building. 

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Tue, October 28 2014

More than Just a Map

You never know what you’ll uncover once you do a little digging. Museum Technician Tom Paone discovered something quite remarkable from what at first appeared to be a simple map.

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Mon, October 27 2014

Ask a Curator Day 2014

On September 17th, Museum staff  participated in the international Ask a Curator Day on Twitter. People asked questions on topics ranging from how we select exhibitions to the most difficult object or display to maintain to the most unusual object in our collections. Here is a selection of those questions and answers.

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Fri, October 24 2014

Air & Scare: Better Together

Did you know that staff at the National Air and Space Museum enjoy dressing up for the annual Halloween event, Air and Scare, just as much as our visitors? The event, which will kick off tomorrow at 2:00 pm (ET) at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, will bring out lots of superheroes, Star Wars characters, princesses, pumpkins, and many more. It also brings out a creative side in the Museum’s Visitor Services staff, who have teamed up over the years with group costume themes.

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Tue, October 21 2014

From the Archives: Window Shopping

As I was flipping through a set of historical National Air and Space Museum photographs in the Archives a few months ago, one caught my eye—was that a Hecht’s window display?  Upon closer examination, it was!  But the display from the 1950s wasn’t highlighting the usual dresses, jackets, or shoes.  Instead, it featured models from the National Air Museum in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Anacostia Naval Air Station (NAS) in Washington, DC.

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