AidSpace Blog

Yearly Archives: 2013

Breathing New Life into an Old Fabric

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As previously discussed in Spiral Threads of Corrosion Overtake an Antenna Drive, a one-year conservation triage project is underway to deal with artifacts that are actively deteriorating and require stabilizing treatments prior to being permanently relocated to the new storage facility at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. These artifacts include a wide   …Continue Reading


The Soviet Buran Shuttle: One Flight, Long History

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This month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the sole launch of the Soviet space shuttle Buran. The idea of a reusable space plane has existed for decades among space enthusiasts and predated the idea of a rocket carrying humans into Earth orbit. The space race era manager of the Soviet Space program Sergei Korolev studied   …Continue Reading


The Most Fashionable Balloon of the Civil War

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Although the collection of the National Air and Space Museum contains some of the best air- and spacecraft, it also has one of the best collections of artifacts from the often forgotten days of ballooning. Before humans were able to fly into the heavens on wings or rockets, they first rose off the ground in   …Continue Reading


Bring Me the Head of Alan Shepard: A Halloween Story

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While processing a National Air and Space Museum Archives photo collection, I came across this image—two men holding the wax head of astronaut Alan Shepard!   Although wax replicas are often used for creepy Halloween special effects, this wax model of Shepard’s head was made by the National Historical Wax Museum for realistic display purposes.    …Continue Reading


Finding History on eBay

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One question I’m often asked as a curator is, “do you ever find anything interesting for the museum on eBay?” The answer is yes. This is the story of a particularly interesting find. When developing the aviation component of the museum’s “Time and Navigation” exhibit, I wanted to showcase the role of navigational radar in   …Continue Reading