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Human Spaceflight

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Thu, April 12 2018

AirSpace Ep.5:
2001: An AirSpace Odyssey

It’s the 50th anniversary of one of the slowest, strangest, and yet, most referenced science fiction films of all time – 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It may be your FAVORITE movie, or, quite possibly, you’ve never actually seen it in its 142-minute entirety. Emily, Matt, and Nick break it down for you in the latest episode of AirSpace.

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AirSpace Ep.5:
2001: An AirSpace Odyssey

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Mon, April 9 2018

AirSpace Ep. 4:
Remembering Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking died on March 14 at the age of 76. Hawking's contributions to science centered on his search for a unified theory of the universe, but his impact spanned far beyond the scientific community. 

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AirSpace Ep. 4:
Remembering Stephen Hawking

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Thu, March 8 2018

AirSpace Ep.3:
Bailing Out

"Eject, eject, eject!" Most of us are experienced at bailing out of social situations, but what about airplanes? Fewer than 1 percent of military pilots ever pull the eject handle, but they all know what comes next. The canopy blows, and the pilot is (literally!) rocketed up and out. Now what?

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AirSpace Ep.3:
Bailing Out

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Tue, February 20 2018

How John Glenn Suited Up for Space

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn made history as the first American in orbit—a moment that changed history and reestablished the United States as a major force in the Space Race. Glenn's suit, specially designed and fitted just for him, helped make this achievement possible. The suit was adapted to act as life support, in case the Friendship 7 spacecraft malfunctioned.

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John Glenn's Mercury Helmet
Thu, February 8 2018

AirSpace Ep.2:
The Right Stuff Right Now

The criteria to become an astronaut has evolved over the years, but it’s still one of the toughest jobs to land. 18,000 people applied to be a part of NASA’s most recent astronaut class and only 12 were selected. In this episode, we’ll explore how the right stuff has changed with the times and get a taste of what candidates go through to make the cut. 

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AirSpace Ep.2:
The Right Stuff Right Now

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Tue, October 3 2017

How Extreme Temperatures Affect Spacewalks

In the latest episode of ISS Science, Astronaut Randy Bresnik explains some of the challenges astronauts face during spacewalks including extreme temperatures. Then, we stimulate the effects of extreme temperatures on metals here on Earth.

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STS-130 EVA - International Space Station Cupola
Fri, January 27 2017

Learning from Tragedy: Apollo 1 Fire

Following the Apollo 1 fire, James Webb, the administrator of NASA, asked President Johnson to conduct an investigation of the tragedy. Johnson agreed and an independent review board was convened. Among the six factors found to contribute to the Apollo 1 fire, one was the lack of a quickly removable hatch. Curator Allan Needell uses hatches from the Museum’s collection to illustrate the changes that were made to the hatch system following Apollo 1 to improve safety.

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Unified Hatch
Tue, January 24 2017

Studying Long-Duration Human Spaceflight

A human mission to Mars will take anywhere from two and a half to three years. That is NASA’s best estimate, with each leg of the trip taking six months and including an 18 to 20 month stay on the Red Planet. That does not sound like an extremely long-term prospect until one considers the fact that the world record for the longest single stay in Earth orbit belongs to Soviet cosmonaut and physician Valeri Poliakov at 437 days and 18 hours aboard the Mir space station in 1994-1995. That is less than half the time it would take to complete a mission to Mars.  

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Mir Cosmonaut Views Discovery
Fri, November 4 2016

Your Captions: Incoming Call

What’s one way to lighten the mood before being blasted 186 kilometers (116 miles) into Earth orbit? Some humor. On May 5, 1961, Shepard appeared to be keeping the mood light as this photo captures. 

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Alan Shepard with Telephone
Fri, October 28 2016

Your Captions: Just Hanging Around

File this next photo from our “Caption This” series under bizarre work-place duties. The captions you submitted were spot on. The truth is this man is no circus performer, he’s a test subject. In 1966-1967, NASA Langley developed OMEGA (One-Man Extravehicular Gimbal Arrangement). OMEGA was created to simulate weightlessness and permitted its tester unlimited movement. Tests were conducted using OMEGA with subjects in flight suits and pressure suits to determine the best operation techniques and refinements to the device.

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OMEGA Testing

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