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Space

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Thu, December 31 2015

A Year in Review – 2015

It’s a tall order to sum up the past year at the National Air and Space Museum in a simple list. We’ve hosted astronauts and record breakers, we’ve moved and conserved dozens of artifacts as we transformed the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall (and discovered some incredible things in the process), and held programs that illuminated the impact of aviation and spaceflight on our everyday lives. Where would I even start? I propose a compromise: I’ll summarize ten of my favorite events of this past year, then I’m relying on you to suggest yours. Did you have an experience at the Museum this past year that should be on our list? We’re asking you to share your favorite Air and Space moments in the comments.

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Visit from Chuck Yeager
Sun, December 20 2015

Tips for Telescope Buying

One of the most common questions we get at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory is about what kind of telescope to buy, whether for a gift or for personal use. In the height of the holiday shopping, we’re here to help answer that question.  

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Telescopic observing draws young visitors
Fri, December 18 2015

An Elegant Projector for a Civilized Age

Today, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will officially open in our two IMAX theaters (and around the world). Our Airbus IMAX Theater at the Udvar-Hazy Center features one of the most advanced projection rooms in the world, with twin 4k laser projectors (always two, there are, for 3D presentations) and a 12-channel sound system. In a cinema not-so far, far away in downtown Washington, DC, our Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater will run Episode VII in IMAX’s original format: 70mm film. Star Wars will be the final 70mm feature shown at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater before it too is converted to the state-of-the-art 4k laser system in mid-January. The IMAX empire was founded a long time ago (in the late 1960s) as an ultra-high resolution alternative to standard film. Our Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater (and the Museum) opened on July 1 1976. It wasn’t the first IMAX Theater in the nation, but it was close.

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Preparing "The Force Awakens" Film
Tue, December 15 2015

Sharkskin and Spacesuits

Thinking outside the box to solve aeronautics challenges

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Tue, December 15 2015

Can you discover Planet X?

The search for a new planet

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Tue, December 15 2015

Bringing an Object to Life

From Plastic Wrapped to Museum Display

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Tue, December 15 2015

The World’s First Space Rendezvous

Fifty years ago, on December 15, 1965, Gemini VI and VII met for the first rendezvous in space. This was not NASA’s original plan.

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Gemini VII Photographed by Gemini VI
Thu, December 10 2015

Restoring the Apollo Telescope Mount

This past year, I had the opportunity to lead a largely volunteer team, with supervision from museum specialist Anne McCombs and curator David DeVorkin, on a major restoration project of the Museum’s Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM). The ATM we worked on was a backup to the one used in 1973 on the Skylab space station to study high-energy solar activity.

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Restored Apollo Telescope Mount
Fri, December 4 2015

A Surprise Call From Space

It’s not a typical afternoon at work when you answer the phone and hear, "Hey, Dr. Neal. It's Kjell Lindgren calling from the International Space Station." Thus began a 15-minute surprise call from the ISS Expedition 44-45 NASA astronaut. Lindgren just wanted to say that he had with him the Museum flag and Gemini IV patch that he borrowed to take in his personal preference kit. He had unpacked them and shot some photos in the cupola for us. "I'm looking forward to bringing those back to you once I get back from my mission," he said.

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NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren
Tue, December 1 2015

Remembering Astronautics and Museum Leader Frederick Clark Durant III

We have a tradition at the National Air and Space Museum of recognizing the passing of aerospace leaders with a temporary memorial panel displayed for a time on the Museum floor.

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Fred Durant, Tom Crouch and Werner Von Braun

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