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Space

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Fri, December 17 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse

The Moon is one of the most easily recognized celestial objects and arguably the easiest one to observe. It is simple to view the changing phases from day to day, with your naked eyes. Binoculars or a telescope will reveal countless craters, ancient lava flows, and other intriguing lunar features.

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Eclipse Sequence
Fri, December 3 2010

Robert Goddard and the Smithsonian

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, born in 1882, Goddard earned a B.Sc. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1908) and an M.Sc. (1911) and a Ph.D. (1912) in physics from Clark University. After some important early work in electronics, the young professor began his work on rocketry and spaceflight. In 1914 he patented the design of both a multistage and a liquid propellant rocket and conducted an experiment demonstrating the ability of a rocket to function in space. The work was becoming ever more expensive, he explained to Abbot, and wondered if the Smithsonian could offer any support.

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Robert Hutchings Goddard
Fri, November 12 2010

A Blending of Photography and X-Ray

Curators at the Air and Space Museum are learning how to combine x-rays and photographs of object to gain a glimpse into their preservation and history. 

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Apollo EVA Boot
Sun, September 12 2010

She Had a Dream: Mae C. Jemison, First African American Woman in Space

Have you ever had a dream of what you wanted to do in life? How about a wish that you hoped every day would come true?  Were you ever truly inspired by something or someone at an early age that shaped the course of your life? Living a lifelong dream does not come to many, but for Dr. Mae Jemison, space travel was always an area of fascination.

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Mae Jemison
Tue, August 24 2010

Quietly Soaring into History: First African American in Space

As August 30 approaches, a significant anniversary in American history may come along virtually unnoticed, just as it almost did twenty-seven years ago.

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Official STS-8 crew portrait
Fri, August 13 2010

A ‘Spectacular’ Hoax Continues to Fool E-mail Readers

A claim that Mars will appear as large as the full moon to the naked eye has been circulating since 2003. Don't be fooled by the misinformation.

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Oppositions of Mars
Tue, August 10 2010

What are Your Favorite Aerospace History Conspiracy Theories?

We have been discussing at the National Air and Space Museum the possibility of pursuing an educational workshop on the place of conspiracy theories in modern America, especially as it relates to aerospace history but also in the broader context of our national history.

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Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch
Mon, July 26 2010

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

July 15-24 marked the 35th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), the famous “Handshake in Space.” ASTP was the first American-Soviet space flight, docking the last American Apollo spacecraft with the then-Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. This joint effort between the two major world players was based on an agreement signed in 1972, and it set a precedent for future joint efforts, such as the Shuttle-Mir Program and the International Space Station.

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Stafford and Leonov Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) Handshake
Wed, June 9 2010

Trajectories of Space Flight (Part Two)

In a previous blog post, I discussed the influence that Wernher von Braun had on the vision of the way that human space travel would progress, from brief flights into space to long duration missions to Mars.  To continue that discussion: Wernher von Braun envisioned the space station to be something quite different from the International Space Station that is now in orbit: he imagined a wheel-shaped vessel that rotated to provide artificial gravity for its crew.

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Space Station S-1 Model
Tue, June 1 2010

Space Day 2010

What do yogurt cups and juice bottles have to do with the International Space Station? If you dropped by the National Mall Building on Saturday, May 8, between 10am and 3pm, you would have seen this question being answered by hundreds of visitors, working together to build a space station out of recycled materials. Space Day is an annual family day program sponsored by Lockheed Martin. In addressing this year’s theme, “Looking at Earth from Space,” our astronaut guests explained the incredible feeling of seeing the circumference of the earth from the window of the shuttle. Curators from the National Air and Space Museum and presenters from research organizations used models and displays to show how satellites work and the cool things we can do with them. We want family days to engage audiences of all ages in fun, informal, educational activities.

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Astronaut Dan Tani

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