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Space

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Mon, April 1 2013

Mars Rover Discovers Chocolate on Mars

Scientists at the National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies announced an astounding discovery at a press conference...

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Fri, March 15 2013

Women in Space

March is Women’s History Month and those of us trained as women’s historians know that our topics have particular currency in the third month of the year.  But for women in space, the month to celebrate really should be June.

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Mon, March 11 2013

An Artistic Search for Pluto

How do you illustrate a non-fiction book for kids based on the former ninth planet? Some people still have some pretty strong feelings about Pluto’s demotion: protest signs, student protest speeches, public demonstrations. Cries of unfairness could be heard when news of poor Pluto’s removal from the planetary ranks occurred. It is the intention of this new children’s book to set the story straight or at least attempt to share “Pluto’s side of the story." I‘ve worked in the children’s book market as a freelance illustrator for several years in addition to my full-time job with the Museum’s Early Childhood program. My latest book assignment from Abrams Books for Young Readers, Pluto's Secret: an icy World's Tale of Discovery,  connected my job as an artist and an educator.  

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Mon, March 4 2013

Chicken Little Was Right

Yes, the sky is falling. The asteroid impact that took place in Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15, 2013, has jump-started an international conversation about planetary protection and whether or not there is a really big asteroid/meteor/comet out there with our name on it. There is, we just haven’t found it yet. Miniscule objects enter the atmosphere all the time; occasionally larger objects come down—the Tunguska (1908) and Chelyabinsk (2013) events are prime examples of this—and once in a very great while a mass extinction impact takes place as in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event of 66-65 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs.  

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Sun, February 24 2013

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, the space shuttle Discovery was launched for the last time.  My friend Nicole Gugliucci scored a quartet of tickets for the launch and shared them with me, along with our friends and classmates Joleen Carlberg and Gail Zasowski.  Facing an overwhelming load of graduate school work, we decided that a road trip from Virginia to Florida was exactly what we needed.

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Fri, February 15 2013

When Worlds Collide

A particularly bright fireball was observed earlier today over a wide area in Russia. Of even greater significance was the very strong sonic boom associated with the passage of the meteor through Earth’s atmosphere.

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Fri, February 1 2013

Reflections on the Loss of STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia: Ten Years Ago

NASA staffers and leaders had a celebration planned on February 1, 2003 for the return of Columbia and its crew after the successful completion of STS-107.

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Tue, January 15 2013

Reflections on "Explore the Universe" 2001-2012

One of the jokes I inherited from my student years is the final exam question "Describe the Universe" which was followed by "and give two examples."

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Thu, January 10 2013

The Archives Department’s First Anniversary at the Udvar-Hazy Center

On January 10, 2012, the National Air and Space Museum Archives Department officially opened its new reading room at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to public researchers.  We welcomed six researchers that day, including two who had scheduled a trip from Germany to coincide with our grand opening.

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Thu, January 3 2013

That was the Year That Was…2012 in Air and Space

No question 2012 will be remembered as a simultaneously joyous and tumultuous year, certainly in politics but also in air and space. As a retrospective of the year just gone, here are my five most significant events in air and space. Like all such lists, it is idiosyncratic and I recognize that others might choose different events. I list them in order of their occurrence—not according to their significance—during the year, along with my reason for including them on this list.

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