AidSpace Blog

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Remembering Challenger 25 Years Later

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1986 was supposed to be a banner year for the United States in space—12 shuttle missions scheduled, the most to date, including launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.  The first five years of shuttle missions in Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis, had begun to establish the rhythm of routine spaceflight. The 25th mission, STS 51-L   …Continue Reading


Eugene Ely and the Birth of Naval Aviation—January 18, 1911

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In 1909, military aviation began with the purchase of the Wright Military Flyer by the U.S. Army.   The Navy sprouted wings two years later in 1911 with a number of significant firsts.  The first U.S Navy officers were trained to fly, the Navy purchased its first airplanes from Glenn Curtiss and the Wrights, and sites   …Continue Reading


A Curator’s Preamble to a Move

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Sixty-two suits.  Toni Thomas and I came up with that number after several days counting spacesuits and flight suits on stepladders in the Environmental Storage Room, Building 24 (ESRB24) at the Paul E. Garber Facility.  These were the pressure suits in the National Air and Space Museum spacesuit collection that still needed soft, conservation-correct storage   …Continue Reading


5 Cool Things at the Udvar-Hazy Center You May Have Missed

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The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, currently has over 161 aircraft and 160 major space objects on display.  With so much to see in such a huge space, it’s easy to focus on the larger and more famous objects like the Concorde, Space Shuttle Enterprise, and Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay.  However, there   …Continue Reading