AidSpace Blog

Monthly Archives: April 2011

An Easter Airlift

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Why is the smiling Pan American Airways flight attendant holding a box of baby chicks, and why have the chicks been dyed in festive colors? Presumably, it was for an Easter-themed photo shoot, but it’s a shame that we don’t know the story behind this Rudy Arnold photograph from the 1950s. Still, It’s a nice   …Continue Reading


The Real Wright Flyer

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The Smithsonian literally has millions of objects in its vast collections.  Everything from specimens of flora and fauna from around the globe, to machines that have shaped the modern world, to cultural artifacts that reflect our rich diversity, to important works of art.  Even live animals at the National Zoo.  Every aspect of human endeavor   …Continue Reading


What Can You Really See From Space?

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Most people know that satellites in orbit do useful things such as collect images of the Earth’s surface. At the National Air and Space Museum I use satellite images in my job to understand changes in the Earth’s land surface. Today millions of people are acquainted with satellite imagery on internet map services. People sometimes   …Continue Reading


Transit Authority

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On the morning of March 2, I got an excited text message from fellow astronomy educator Shelley Witte, telling me that the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle Discovery would be coming very close to transiting the Sun from our position at the National Air and Space Museum’s Public Observatory at exactly 3:08 pm.   …Continue Reading


Jumping In Tweet First

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On Saturday, March 19, I was thrilled to participate in the first ever Sun-Earth Day Tweetup organized by the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. It was also the first time the Smithsonian officially participated in a Tweetup. The event was a great opportunity to give twitter fans (aka “tweeps”) some face-to-face interaction with our research scientists, curators and   …Continue Reading