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Wed, July 2 2014

Remembering Frederick Ira Ordway, III

Fred Ordway passed away in Huntsville, Alabama, on the morning of Tuesday July 1.

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Sat, March 22 2014

Remembering William Reid “Bill” Pogue

Bill Pogue may be best known as an astronaut who served on America’s Skylab space station and author of the book he titled with the perennial question astronauts are asked to answer, How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?

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Thu, March 13 2014

Remembering Dale Allan Gardner

Dale Gardner was one of only six Space Shuttle astronauts to fly the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) propulsion backpack.

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Tue, March 11 2014

Celebrating Jerrie Mock, the First Woman to Fly Around the World

On April 3, 1964, Jerrie Mock stood next to her Cessna 180 at Dhahran Airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The crowd of men before her looked puzzled and then one of them dashed forward to look into the cockpit. In her book Three-Eight Charlie, Mock recalled: “His white-kaffiyeh-covered head nodded vehemently, and he shouted to the throng that there was no man.  This brought a rousing ovation.”

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Thu, February 20 2014

Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, The Greatest Stick and Rudder Man, is Honored in Hollywood

On the evening of Friday, February 21, friends of legendary pilot Bob Hoover will gather with him at Paramount Studios Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate his “Lifetime of Achievement.”  We doubt this Red Carpet event will make Access Hollywood but of course that is not the point.  Instead, these friends will gather to honor an exceptional man with extraordinary flying skills and, hopefully, to hear Bob tell a few more of his incredible stories.

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Wed, January 22 2014

It’s Museum Selfie Day! Go Ahead, Snap Yourself

Today, January 22nd, is Museum Selfie Day. Museums everywhere are joining in on the selfie phenomenon, one that in 2013 earned “selfie” Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year and inspired an exhibition examining the cultural significance of digital self-expression. The National Air and Space Museum is a selfie canvas every day and we appreciate the many inspiring and often highly entertaining photos that visitors share of themselves in front of historic air and spacecraft. 

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Sun, December 29 2013

The WASP in the 2014 Rose Parade

The Women Airforce Service Pilots, aka WASP, easily illustrate the theme of this year’s Rose Parade, Dreams Come True, as that is what happened for each woman selected to be a WASP. 

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Thu, December 26 2013

Archeoastronomy of the Longest Night

As our northern hemisphere days begin to lengthen, I like to think about the many ways people have marked the Winter Solstice throughout human history. Like Summer Solstice (the longest day), the equinoxes, and motions of the planets and Moon through the sky, Winter Solstice has long been observed, recorded, and used to construct special buildings. Some of these buildings were erected so long ago that no written record of their use is available today, but they clearly point at cultures that valued the knowledge of precisely when the longest night of the year occurs. Two ancient cultures in the northern hemisphere whose monuments I’ve visited come to mind: Celtic and Anasazi.

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Thu, November 28 2013

A Few Words of Thanks from Our Curators

I’ve worked as a curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for more than three decades. It has been an amazing ride. I’ve done things and met people I could never have in any other job. In that time I have had many reasons to be thankful. Thankful to have closely studied artifacts that have changed the world, like the Wright Flyer. Thankful to have met larger-than-life figures whose accomplishments are in the historical firmament for all time, such Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. Thankful to have worked with many world-class scholars and museum professionals.

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Tue, November 26 2013

Movember

November means Movember, a month to celebrate moustaches around the world and promote awareness on men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancer.

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