2019 was a big year at the National Air and Space Museum, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, and worked hard on our ongoing renovation. We shared stories about these projects and more on the blog this year. Let’s dive into five of the most popular stories of 2019.
Before returning Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit to display in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, it underwent extensive conservation and a state-of-the-art display case and mannequin was designed to protect it while on display.
Working with the museum, the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office 3D scanned Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, helmet, and gloves. The resulting 3D models, which have been fully annotated by the suit’s curator and conservator, are now available.
From an outsider’s perspective, Lamar Dodd must have seemed like an unlikely choice for a commission to create paintings on the subject of space. Dodd was in the first group recruited for the NASA Art Program, which tasked artists with translating the cultural and scientific monumentality of the space missions to a national audience.
On July 11, 1969 – only 5 days before Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin set out on their journey to the Moon – a relatively unknown British musician named David Bowie released a single titled Space Oddity.
When early astronauts traveled into space, and in this case, the Moon, lives depended on communications equipment that kept them in contact at all times with those stationed on Earth, like this "Snoopy Cap" communications carrier.
The NASA Art Program played an important role in representing the excitement and public interest in early spaceflight missions like Apollo 11. As we look back at key moments from the historic missions, we do so not only through photographs and oral histories, but through the eyes of artists as well.