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Science Fiction

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Fri, May 25 2018

What Han Solo Should Know about Space Travel

Parsecs are actually astronomical units—not just in the Star Wars universe—used to measure distance, not time. (Sorry, Han.)

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The Kepler Mission
Sat, May 19 2018

The Making of 2001's Star Gate Sequence

Filmaker and special effects artist Doug Trumbull shares the behind-the-scenes story of 2001: A Space Odyssey's most groundbreaking scenes. 

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The Making of 2001's Star Gate Sequence

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2001: A Space Odyssey
Fri, May 11 2018

The Real Technology Behind 2001’s HAL

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, some reflections on the most famous character in the film: HAL, the on-board computer.

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The Real Technology Behind 2001’s HAL

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The ILLIAC IV Computer System
Fri, May 4 2018

The Star Wars Galaxy in Real Space

How fans celebrate the Star Wars galaxy, whether it's at the National Air and Space Museum or aboard the International Space Station. 

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The Star Wars Galaxy in Real Space

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The Last Jedi Screening Aboard the ISS
Tue, April 24 2018

2001: A Space Odyssey in Orbit

When my STS-98 crew launched into orbit on February 7, 2001—the first human space launch of the millennium—I marked the milestone by carrying with me two personal mementos of the landmark Stanly Kubrick science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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2001: A Space Odyssey in Orbit

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Astronaut Thomas D. Jones Holding Copy of 2001 A Space Odyssey During STS-98
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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Logo for AirSpace Podcast
Tue, April 10 2018

2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL, and the Future of AI 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Among the things that makes this film stand out for sci-fi fans is "HAL," the computer that runs the ship.

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2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL, and the Future of AI 

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A Poster for "2001: A Space Odyssey," in France, 1968
Tue, February 13 2018

Shields up! Protecting the Enterprise From UV Rays

Shields up, Captain! Or in this case, shades down. Here's the unique way the Museum protects our model of the Star Trek Enterprise from light damage. 

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Star Trek Starship Enterprise Studio Model
Wed, December 20 2017

Star Wars: A Merchandising Empire

In 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope, the first installment on George Lucas’s famous Star Wars film series, became one of the biggest box office hits of all time. It also gave rise to an innovative mass-marketing campaign for toys and other products that became an industry model.

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A set of Star Wars toys manufactured for the release of The Empire Strikes Back, 1980.
Sat, December 16 2017

Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Today would have been visionary science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s 100th birthday (1917-2008). In the many decades since his first writings, his renown and influence still reverberate, motivating a range of contemporary thinkers.

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Arthur C. Clarke in his Study

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