Science & Engineering

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Mon, December 11 2017

"We Choose to go to the Moon:" JFK's Moon Shot

As the American space program once again looks toward the Moon, we revisit President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth.

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Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. flag on the Moon
Wed, December 6 2017

How Iceland Helps us Understand Saturn’s Icy Moon

This past August, CEPS scientists traveled to Iceland to study geologic features known as pit chains, which form in a similar way to pit chains on Saturn’s icy moon, Enceladus.

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Saturn's Satellite Enceladus
Mon, December 4 2017

Photos from the ISS

Did you know that some of the coolest photos of Earth from space were not actually taken by satellites? Many were taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). In fact, part of the astronaut training program focuses on how to take photos in space.

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A photo of an aurora over Scotland taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik aboard the International Space Station, November 24, 2017.
Fri, December 1 2017

Celebrating Moments of Ingenuity

This month, the Smithsonian has been highlighting moments of ingenuity—trendsetters, groundbreakers, and individuals whose work embodies the spirit of innovation. As part of the Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival, the National Air and Space Museum celebrated the next generation of space and aviation pioneers, and those in history who paved the way.

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Ingenuity Festival
Thu, November 30 2017

The Fun of Finding Exoplanets

Using satellites and robotic rovers, we’ve learned quite a few details about the various planets orbiting our Sun. But what about other stars? What are their planets like? How weird do they get? It turns out, pretty weird.

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Kepler Mission
Wed, November 29 2017

Hydrogen-Powered Cars Hitting the Road

Sustainable energy has been at the heart of modern innovations large and small, from efficient light bulbs in living rooms to solar panels powering buildings. One of the newest breakthroughs in energy technology can often be found zipping around the streets in front of the Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, DC—a car powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

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A fuel cell car being filled at a hydrogen pump.
Tue, November 28 2017

Drones Doing Dirty and Dangerous Jobs

Delivering supplies to unreachable locations, tracking endangered wildlife, performing at the Coachella music festival—some of the many, varied uses for drone technology. The innovative and creative industries emerging from commercial drones are part of the history being documented at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

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ScanEagle in Flight
Fri, November 24 2017

Planet Hunting with the Kepler Space Telescope

Thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope, we now know the answer to a longstanding question in astronomy: how common are planetary systems around stars? Quite common, it turns out. In the relatively small patch of sky that Kepler studied, most of the stars had planets orbiting them. Scientists now believe that there are more planets than stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

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The Kepler Mission
Fri, November 17 2017

Where in the World?

Get a more in-depth look at orbital imagery during National Geography Awareness Week, with the National Air and Space Museum's Geography from Space.

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Geography from Space
Tue, November 14 2017

Microgravity Science Experiments

Just like you conduct experiments in your science class, astronauts do experiments while in space. The microgravity of space allows astronauts to carry out experiments that would not be possible in the gravity of Earth. There are more than 300 experiments currently happening aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Astronaut Kate Rubins


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