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Tue, July 18 2017

How to Shower in Space

Showers, baths, swimming: these are all experiences most of us take for granted on Earth. There's nothing quite like experiencing the cool touch of water from the shower or jumping into a pool on a hot day. Gravity is what makes all of these experiences possible—it pushes that cool and refreshing water off your back and into the drain. But all that changes in space. The lack of gravity causes water and soapsuds to stick to everything.

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Washing Hair in Space
Thu, July 13 2017

Introducing ISS Science: How to Spot the Station

It’s not every day that an astronaut invites you to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to work with and film them training. But that’s exactly what Randy “Komrade” Bresnik did for the STEM in 30 team. In the following months we’ll be sharing his journey with you as he travels to the International Space Station (ISS) on Expeditions 52 and 53.

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Hosts Beth and Marty with Astronaut Bresnik
Wed, July 12 2017

Paths of Glory: An Early Kubrick Film

A Cold War era treatment of an earlier conflict, Paths of Glory engages injustice within the ranks during World War I through the efforts of a regimental commander in the French army, played by Kirk Douglas, to stem callous treatment of line troops by the French high command. Built upon class divisions, the film depicts an entrenched establishment that cannot be challenged no matter how irrational or heartless the orders from above.

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Paths of Glory: An Early Kubrick Film

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Paths of Glory
Mon, July 10 2017

Amelia Earhart: Setting Records

From a very young age Amelia Earhart knew she wanted to do something different. She became enamored with aviation, and from the very beginning set flight records.  She was the first woman to fly the Atlantic. As a passenger on that flight she referred to herself simply as a "sack of potatoes." But the experience inspired her to do her own solo transatlantic flight in the Lockheed Vega 5B. Shortly after, she set a transcontinental record. 

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Lockheed 5B Vega
Wed, July 5 2017

Douglas DC-3: Most Successful Airliner

Used both for commercial and military air transportation, the Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Today, about 400 DC-3s are still flying.

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Douglas DC-3 in America by Air
Thu, June 29 2017

Amelia Earhart: Missing for 80 Years But Not Forgotten

On May 21, 1937, record-setting pilot and celebrity Amelia Earhart set out to become the first woman to fly around the world. By July 2, she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, had flown more than 35,406 kilometers (22,000 miles). They intended to make three final but long over-water flights across the Pacific Ocean to complete the voyage: from New Guinea to Howland Island, Howland to Hawaii, and Hawaii to San Francisco, California. Instead, they disappeared en route to Howland Island.

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Amelia Earhart in Front of her Autogito
Fri, June 23 2017

Famous Signatures and Detailed Artwork in the Library

A fan of what he calls “the older stuff,” librarian Phil Edwards shared with me seven of the library’s most prized possessions and lesser-known gems just in time for Museum Week’s Book Day (#BooksMW).

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Ramsy Room Books
Tue, June 20 2017

Our Favorite Sports Stories for #sportsMW

What do baseball, hockey, and football have in common? Hint: It’s more than just the roar of the crowd or competitive all-star athletes. Each sporting event has some connection to aviation and spaceflight—yes, spaceflight. Our intrepid archivist, Elizabeth Borja, has been exploring this connection for years. Whether it’s the testing of spacesuits at a baseball game or the New York Yankees flying on a Douglas DC-4, Borja has uncovered surprising sports stories filed away in the Museum’s Archives. Here are our five, all-time-favorite stories in honor of today’s #MuseumWeek theme: sports (#sportsMW).

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New York Yankees Baseball Team
Thu, June 15 2017

The Eagle and the Hawk

Although less well known than Wings, The Dawn Patrol, and Hell’s Angels, The Eagle and the Hawk was one of the best World War I dramas of the 1930s.  Based on an original story by John Monk Saunders, who also wrote the original story for Wings, The Eagle and the Hawk focuses on the psychological aspects of wartime aerial combat.  It explores the cumulative effects on pilots and crews who fought in the skies during World War I, rather than on the romanticized heroic exploits of fighter pilots.

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The Eagle and the Hawk
Wed, June 14 2017

Advice From An Eclipse Chaser

As a volunteer at the National Air and Space Museum, I’ve been talking to visitors about astronomy for 28 years. Right now is an exciting time to be volunteering here thanks to the total solar eclipse that will happen this summer. As an astronomy enthusiast and an eclipse chaser, I have some great advice to share on how best to view the 2017 eclipse. 

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Volunteer Attends 1991 Solar Eclipse

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