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Behind the Scenes

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Tue, September 20 2016

Interview with Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins

At the Museum we’re fortunate to host many of the nation’s aerospace icons. This was certainly the case earlier this year when Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins was on hand for our 2016 John H. Glenn Lecture, Spaceflight: Then, Now, Next.

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Interviewing Apollo Astronaut Michael Collins
Wed, September 14 2016

Ask A Curator Day 2016 - Questions and Answers

Ever wondered how we move objects, what's not on display that we'd like to exhibit, or what rocks from the Moon feel like? #AskACurator Day on Twitter is your chance to get those burning questions answered about aviation, spaceflight, planetary science and more. Here is a selection of questions and answers that we will update throughout the day on September 14, 2016.

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Ask A Curator Day 2016 - Questions and Answers

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Removing the Sputnik Replica
Tue, September 13 2016

Getting a Head Start on #AskACurator Day

Tomorrow is Ask a Curator Day. From 8:00 am to 4:00 pm take to Twitter and ask us your most burning questions—include @airandspace and #AskACurator in your tweet. We’ll have curators, researchers, archivists, and museum specialists ready to answer your questions. What’s our favorite object? How do we move airplanes? What are we researching? We have answers.

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Examining an Engineering Drawing
Mon, September 12 2016

Are You an Air Racing Fan?

This week the 53rdNational Championship Air Races will be taking place just outside Reno, Nevada. Besides the racers and teams that have made the event the world’s fastest motorsport, fans and spectators are an important part of the culture of air racing and we’ve been researching their place in that exciting history. If you’re a Reno air racing fan, we’re asking you to donate your most-loved t-shirt, jacket, hat, or buttons related to the races to our collection.  

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The Grandstand
Wed, September 7 2016

Explore the Museum in Klingon

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is one of the galaxy’s most popular tourist destinations, and celebrates infinite diversity in infinite combinations among its visitors. Although we are fairly certain there are no longer undercover Klingon agents on staff, we welcome citizens of the planet Kronos to explore the history of flight on Earth alongside our terrestrial visitors. To help increase Klingon visitorship, we turned to Earth’s premier extraterrestrial linguist and former Smithsonian post-doctoral fellow, Marc Okrand. Okrand developed the Klingon and Vulcan languages for the Star Trek franchise, and was kind enough to translate and record a highlights tour in the Museum’s new app GO FLIGHT.

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Explore the Museum in Klingon

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Marc Okrand
Mon, August 29 2016

Food & Flight: Olive Ann Beech's Supper Nachos

Olive Ann Beech is proof that some milestones in aviation occur with two feet firmly planted on the ground. Olive Ann co-founded Beech Aircraft Corporation with husband Walter Beech and became the first female executive of an aircraft company when she took the reins in 1940. In Famous Personalities of Flight Cookbook, Olive Ann shared a recipe for supper nachos and a little insight into her early years in the aircraft industry.

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Olive Ann Beech and Louise Thaden
Tue, August 23 2016

Finding the Nuts and Bolts of the "Enterprise"

Gary Kerr’s lifelong love affair with Star Trek and the starship Enterprise studio model has lead him down a number of interesting paths. Last year, this fascination lead the “Trek-xpert” on an epic quest to find just the right hardware, the actual nuts and bolts, that make up the Enterprise studio model.

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Measuring the Enterprise Bridge Dome
Mon, August 22 2016

Apollo Gems in the Archives

One of the joys of working with an archive is unearthing the unexpected. When an avowed space nerd like me gets the opportunity to spend time in archives as impressive as the Smithsonian, my journey down research road was a bit circuitous. More often than not, I was lured away from my original focus by fascinating finds. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Apollo 11 Moon Pin
Wed, August 17 2016

Revealing the Colors of the Star Trek Enterprise

Want to know what colors are on the 3-meter (11-foot) Star Trek starship Enterprise studio model? Read more to find the colorimeter readings for the colors we uncovered during our sanding tests and other conservation work on the model.

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Revealing the Colors of the Star Trek Enterprise
Sat, August 13 2016

Six Stories from Developing the Lunar Module

Many are familiar with images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin standing beside the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle during the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing. The story of how the LM was developed and tested is a little less familiar. Here are six highlights from a recent talk. 

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Testing the Lunar Module Signed Photograph

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