On April 7, 2017, New Horizons entered a 157-day-long hibernation. New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe and is NASA’s first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. After operating steadily for almost two and a half years, the spacecraft and its systems deserve this much-needed break.
Before coming to work at the National Air and Space Museum, I taught for 15 years at Liberty Public Schools near Kansas City, Missouri. When I was teaching, I would write to anyone I thought I could get a response from, including celebrities, asking them for advice for students. My favorite responses were always from astronauts.
In the late 1950s, the U.S. Naval School of Aviation Medicine and the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recruited deaf people for weightlessness, balance, and motion sickness experiments.
On April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War I, setting America on a course to become an important player on the world stage. It was a turning point in the nation’s history that still reverberates through world events a century later. The Museum’s centerpiece presentation in observance of the 100th anniversary of World War I is Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression in the First World War, a new exhibition in the Museum’s Flight in the Arts gallery. A collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the exhibition features largely never-before-seen artwork, produced by soldiers, that sheds light on World War I in a compelling and very human way.
The latest film in our Hollywood Goes to War: World War I on the Big Screen film series the story of the American Expeditionary Force’s arrival in France in World War I. Based on the real-life exploits of New York City’s 69th Infantry Regiment, The Fighting 69th features several real-life characters.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union and United States held a number of summits to come to terms with the two country’s growing nuclear arsenals. The country’s leaders, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, got to know each other during these sessions and developed a personal rapport. Reagan’s charisma and personal warmth enabled him to disarm Gorbachev who was more formal and reserved. Because of their relationship, the two world leaders were more willing to have conversations and negotiate leading to the INF Treaty. The treaty mandated the removal of a specific class of intermediate-range ballistic missiles from each country’s active inventories. That historic treaty foreshadowed the end of the Cold War.
You may know of the first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova) or the second (Svetlana Savitskaya). But do you know the name and the story of the third female cosmonaut? Elena Kondakova may have not been the first woman in space, but she was the first woman to enter the cosmonaut team-in-training program with male classmates. She set the precedent of mixed-gendered selections that exists in Russia today.