AidSpace Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Bringing Buzz Lightyear to the Museum

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When Disney•Pixar approached the National Air and Space Museum about donating the Buzz Lightyear figure that had flown to the International Space Station for 15 months, I was delighted.  As the curator for the Museum’s social and cultural space artifacts, I have the unique job of getting to take toys seriously.   Buzz Lightyear joined   …Continue Reading


The Ten Best American Aviation Genre Films of All Time: A Highly Personal and Idiosyncratic List

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I am sure that my selections for the ten best American aviation genre films will be hotly contested. First, let me clarify what I mean by “aviation genre.”  The aviation genre is defined by the manner in which an aviation film pays attention to characterization, values, actions, and iconography.  Broadly speaking, the genre is about   …Continue Reading


Remembering Wernher von Braun on his 100th Birthday

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Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wernher von Braun (March 23, 1912-June 16, 1977), one of the most famous rocketeers and advocates of spaceflight that ever lived. Accordingly, it is an appropriate time to reflect on his remarkable life and career. A longstanding “space cadet,” von Braun was an early member of   …Continue Reading


Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation Retirees Finish Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake” Following 8-Year Restoration Effort

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  On February 10, 2012, retired Vought employees officially rolled out the one-of-a-kind Vought V-173 Flying Pancake, following eight years of painstaking restoration work.  The Flying Pancake dates to World War II when the Chance Vought Division of the United Aircraft Corporation built and flew the airplane to test Charles H. Zimmerman’s theories about extremely   …Continue Reading


The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There

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I work behind the scenes as part of a team of museum specialists supporting the upcoming exhibit Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There opening in March, 2013. I am the person who shepherds the objects themselves through the process. I photograph them, take their measurements, build specialized containers for   …Continue Reading