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Behind the Scenes

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Sun, October 2 2011

Moving the National Air and Space Museum's Archives

  October is American Archives Month—a time to celebrate the importance of archives across the country. In honor of Archives Month, we’re participating in a pan-Smithsonian blogathon throughout the month. We, and other bloggers from across the Smithsonian, will be blogging about our archival collections, issues, and behind-the-scenes projects. We encourage you to check out the posts on all of the participating blogs, as well as related events and resources. You may have heard that the National Air and Space Museum Archives is moving.  The collections and offices are moving from the current location of Building 12 at the Paul E. Garber Restoration and Storage Facility and from the Museum in Washington, D.C. to their new location at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center

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Paul E. Garber Facility
Fri, September 9 2011

Preserving and Displaying the “Bat-Wing Ship” – August Update

This post is a follow up to Preserving and Displaying the "Bat-Wing Ship" published on June 24, 2011.

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Horten H IX V3
Mon, August 15 2011

"How the Shuttle Got Its Wings"

Learn how Museum educators are using interactive theater presentations to educate visitors about the space shuttle.

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How the Shuttle Got its Wings
Thu, July 28 2011

Astronomy Night at the Museum

The night opened with few clouds and a bright waxing gibbous moon. Alex and I, interns at the National Air and Space Museum, stood outside with Sean O'Brien, astronomy educator at the Museum and Albert Einstein Planetarium technician, to survey the sky and anticipate the night. This was my first star party at the Museum. As we set up, the first line of visitors formed outside the door of the Public Observatory waiting for 6 p.m. — opening time. We set up the Tele Vue telescope first. The view was spectacular. Along the terminator, the line between the dark and light sides of the Moon, craters popped between the stark white of the moon and the blue of the sky.

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Sun - January 19, 2011
Tue, July 5 2011

The Spirit of '76

When I arrived at the National Air and Space Museum, Astro, as we called our department, consisted of just four curator/subject matter specialists and two support staff, shoe-horned into the northeast tower of the Arts and Industries Building, with a splendid view of the dumpster in the parking lot of the building.

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Smithsonian South Yard in 1974
Fri, July 1 2011

35 Years at the National Air and Space Museum

Dominick Pisano, Museum staff member since 1975, shares his memories of the move to the current Museum and the work that went into transporting the entire library. 

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Rocket Row on West Side of A&I Building; 1960s
Fri, June 24 2011

Preserving and Displaying the “Bat-Wing Ship”

Early in June, staff of the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility slowly and carefully moved the center section of the Horten H IX V3 all-wing jet fighter from storage into the restoration and preservation shop. 

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Horten H IX V3
Tue, June 14 2011

The Perils of Paper Airplanes

When I trained to be an Explainer, I learned the basics: daily activities, expectations, etc. What I didn’t learn, however, was all the job hazards. Interacting with visitors and doing demonstrations sound pretty safe, right?... Not quite.

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Paper Airplane Contest
Mon, June 6 2011

Getting "Enterprise" Ready for Prime Time

Early on the morning of March 1, 2004, a small band of preservation specialists consisting of Anne McCombs, Steve Kautner, and Ed Mautner walked into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. ...

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Space Shuttle "Enterprise"
Fri, May 27 2011

Another Journey for John Glenn’s Ansco Camera

Nearly 50 years ago, John Glenn purchased a camera at a drug store that served as the first astronomical experiment performed by a human in space. That three-orbit voyage for Glenn included two cameras, one the Ansco he purchased and the other a Leica supplied by NASA. The flight not only kicked off decades of orbital experiences for U.S. astronauts, but also science experiments, observations, and thousands of rolls of film and digital files created through hand-held photography. The results of those experiments and the photos taken are what people left on Earth use even today to understand human spaceflight.

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John Glenn's Ansco Camera

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