Explore air and space from the comfort of your home or on the go with these online exhibitions from past and present exhibits.
How does an airplane stay aloft? How can something as insubstantial as air support all that weight? Why do you become "weightless" in space? How can you propel yourself there, with no air to push against? These and many other questions are answered in How Things Fly.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) has captured dramatic landscapes of the Moon for more than six years. A New Moon Rises showcases those breathtaking images from Apollo landing sites to majestic mountains that rise out of the darkness of the lunar poles.
Extra-vehicular activity, or EVA—working outside a spacecraft—changed the nature of human spaceflight. It made possible walking on the Moon, servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, and building the International Space Station. It remains crucial to our ongoing presence in space.
Leonardo da Vinci created masterpieces of art and sculpture. Equally remarkable, his aggregate achievements in engineering, mathematics, anatomy, geology, physics, music, military technology, aeronautics, and a wide range of other fields, not only stood without peer in his own time, but were strikingly prescient for the distant future.
If you want to know where you are, you need an accurate clock.
This surprising connection between time and place has been crucial for centuries. About 250 years ago, sailors first used accurate clocks to navigate the oceans. Today we locate ourselves on the globe with synchronized clocks in orbiting satellites. Among the many challenges facing navigation from then to now, one stands out: keeping accurate time.
The 1903 Wright Flyer, the world's first successful airplane, serves as the centerpiece of this exhibition, which celebrates the centennial of the Wright brothers' historic flights. The airplane is displayed on the floor, so you can get a close-up, eye-level look at the historic craft that ushered in the age of flight.
What is the universe like? Our answer to that question has changed—sometimes suddenly and dramatically—as our tools for studying the universe have changed. Explore the Universe shows how our ideas about the Universe evolved as we developed new astronomical instruments. It presents the universe as discerned by the naked eye, then shows how the telescope, photography, spectroscopy, and digital technology revolutionized our view. The largest section describes what astronomers today think about the nature of the universe.
Star Wars: The Magic of Myth explored the mythical message of Luke Skywalker's journey from his first call to adventure to his final victory. Showcasing models, costumes, props, and original artwork from the archives of Lucasfilm Ltd., the exhibition traced the Star Wars films-Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), and Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace-and how it presents the young Luke and other characters as archetypes from stories and legends.
Soon after World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became locked in a global conflict pitting democracy against communism. Space became a critical theater in this Cold War, as each side competed to best the other's achievements in what became known as the Space Race.
Looking at Earth explores the technology of aerial and space observation and its many uses. The gallery displays aircraft and spacecraft and examples of the photographic and imaging devices used on them. Throughout the exhibition are countless images taken from above. Some are historic; others show scientific, military, or civil applications; others are simply beautiful. All allow us to examine the familiar from unfamiliar perspectives.
The people who pushed the technological or social limits of flight during the 1920s and 30s. This gallery contains an impressive, eclectic assortment of aircraft and exhibits. A common theme unites them: all have to do with people who pushed the existing technological—or social—limits of flight. Each aircraft or exhibit represents an unprecedented feat, a barrier overcome, a pioneering step.
The history and achievements of planetary explorations, both Earth-based and by spacecraft.
African Americans shared the widespread enthusiasm for flying, but they found themselves routinely denied access to training as pilots and mechanics.
Beginning in the 1920s, a small number of determined black air enthusiasts challenged racial discrimination. With great effort — and against formidable odds — they realized their dream to fly.