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Space

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Wed, September 2 2015

Pioneer Carries Message Across the Stars

The National Air and Space Museum's full-scale mockup of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft was recently moved to its new location in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall as a part of a major renovation to the gallery.

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Pioneer 10 replica
Mon, August 31 2015

Duct Tape Auto Repair on the Moon

When most people think of emergency fixes in space, the first incident that comes to mind is the famous Apollo 13 mission. The astronauts fashioned duct tape and surplus materials into air filtration canisters in the lunar module to keep all three astronauts alive for the entire trip home.

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Apollo 17 LRV
Thu, August 27 2015

Gene Kranz’s Apollo 13 Vest

Gene Kranz is best known for his stellar performance as flight director for the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. But Kranz is also known for another thing: his white vests. Kranz’s vests had legendary status around mission control, and also in the minds of the public after actor Ed Harris wore an exact replica of Kranz’s most famous vest in the 1995 movie, Apollo 13. Kranz’s vests represented the strong and can-do approach that pervaded his mission control team, especially during the Apollo 13 mission in which the astronauts’ lives were at stake.

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Gene Kranz
Tue, August 25 2015

SpaceShipOne Folds Its Wing

For the past decade, SpaceShipOne has been on display as one of the hanging artifacts in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. It was specifically positioned to depict the aircraft in its initial stage of powered flight (30 degrees, nose up attitude) just after release from its White Knight mother ship, which carried it aloft to an altitude of about 14,326 meters (47,000 feet). In March of this year, SpaceShipOne was lowered to the floor as part of a major renovation of the Milestones gallery. During this time, it received a thorough condition assessment and photo documentation by conservator Sharon Norquest. After surface cleaning and minor conservation work is completed, it is scheduled to be rehung this week and will be one of the major artifacts in the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, scheduled to open in July 2016. The renovation project provided us with a unique opportunity to consider how we showcase SpaceShipOne in the future.

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SpaceShipOne
Sat, August 22 2015

Inside Look: Celebrating New Horizons With the Mission Team

On July 13 and 14, I was invited to visit the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, for the New Horizons Pluto Flyby Events.

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New Horizons Flyby Celebration
Fri, August 21 2015

New Horizons: The Gift That Keeps Giving

On July 14, the New Horizons spacecraft completed a 9.5-year-long, 4.8-billion kilometer (3-billion mile) journey to the object furthest from the Sun to be visited by a spacecraft.

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Pluto in True Color
Wed, August 19 2015

Zvezda Service Module Celebrates 15 Years in Orbit

Through the commotion of a very successful July which included the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11, and the Museum’s very first Kickstarter project, there is one anniversary that we may have inadvertently overlooked. In July, the Zvezda (Russian for “star”) module of the International Space Station (ISS) celebrated 15 years in orbit.

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Zvezda Module
Fri, August 14 2015

Remembering Claudia Alexander—Space Scientist

Claudia Alexander was perhaps not well-known to the general public, but within the space and science community she was a valued colleague and friend whose contribution to the field of space exploration was significant and lasting.

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 Claudia Alexander
Wed, August 12 2015

What does Alan Shepard’s Mercury suit have to do with Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit?

We’ve received a few comments and questions about why our stretch goal for the Neil Armstrong #RebootTheSuit Kickstarter project is Alan Shepard’s Mercury Freedom 7 spacesuit. The short answer is that the two suits bracket the ideas and accomplishments of the Apollo space program.

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What does Alan Shepard’s Mercury suit have to do with Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit?

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