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Human Spaceflight

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Wed, July 1 2020

Launch a Conversation

We invite you to Launch a Conversation with your friends and family about launches in American history and what was going on during those times.

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Apollo 8 Liftoff
Wed, May 27 2020

Launching Astronauts from American Soil: Why is it Important?

Curator Margaret Weitekamp reflects on the return of human spaceflight from US soil, and the implications of that capability.

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American Flag Left on ISS by STS-135
Wed, May 27 2020

SpaceX Dragon Launch and Entry Suits

Spacesuit curator Cathleen Lewis explores what we know — and don't know — about SpaceX's Crew Dragon launch and entry suits.

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SpaceX Spacesuits
Tue, May 26 2020

Redefining How NASA Gets into Space

On the eve of SpaceX's first Crew Dragon launch, space history curator Jennifer Levasseur examines how NASA's relationship with the contractors that build its spacecraft has changed since the first days of human spaceflight. 

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Crew Dragon spacecraft
Fri, May 22 2020

Launch Complex 39: From Saturn to Shuttle to SpaceX and SLS

Space history curator Michael Neufeld explores the history of Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39, which has seen launches of the Apollo program and Space Shuttle, and will see the return of crewed launches from American soil in May 2020.

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Falcon 9 at Launch Pad
Tue, April 14 2020

Apollo 13 AMA Recap

On Monday, April 13, the 50th anniversary of "Houston, we've had a problem," the Museum's Apollo curator Teasel Muir-Harmony participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on r/space with NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry, and Apollo in Real Time creator and data visualization engineer Ben Feist.

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Apollo 13 Astronauts on the U.S.S. Iwo Jima
Thu, April 9 2020

3D Scanning Space Shuttle Discovery

The Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office takes you behind the scenes of how they captured a comprehensive 3D dataset of the largest museum artifact ever to be digitized: Space Shuttle Discovery

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3D Scanning Space Shuttle Discovery

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Digitizing Discovery
Thu, March 19 2020

Our Friend Al Who Went to the Moon

Alfred "Al" Worden, command module pilot on Apollo 15, passed away on March 18, 2020. We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Al, an aviator, engineer, and storyteller. From the halls of West Point to the far side of the Moon, the legacy of history’s first deep-space walker continues to inspire.

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Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden with his spacesuit
Tue, February 25 2020

Remembering Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician Calculated Mission Flight Paths and Continues to Inspire

On February 24, 2020, Katherine Johnson passed away at the age of 101, after a long life of learning and teaching—and quietly helping the United States reach our destiny in space.

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Remembering Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician Calculated Mission Flight Paths and Continues to Inspire

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Katherine Johnson
Mon, September 16 2019

Looking Both Ways

Not long after the successful Apollo 11 mission, its three crew members were invited to speak to Congress. In this guest blog, Command Module Pilot, and former director of the National Air and Space Museum, Michael Collins recalls those remarks.

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Michael Collins Addresses Congress

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