Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Pioneer Carries Message Across the Stars

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The National Air and Space Museum’s full-scale mockup of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft was recently moved to its new location in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall as a part of a major renovation to the gallery. The spacecraft includes power supplies, a large dish antenna, and several science instruments used during encounters with the   …Continue Reading


Duct Tape Auto Repair on the Moon

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When most people think of emergency fixes in space, the first incident that comes to mind is the famous Apollo 13 mission. The astronauts fashioned duct tape and surplus materials into air filtration canisters in the lunar module to keep all three astronauts alive for the entire trip home. You might remember the story from   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Gene Kranz’s Apollo 13 Vest

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Gene Kranz is best known for his stellar performance as flight director for the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. But Kranz is also known for another thing: his white vests. Kranz’s vests had legendary status around mission control, and also in the minds of the public after actor Ed Harris wore an exact replica of Kranz’s   …Continue Reading


SpaceShipOne Folds Its Wing

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For the past decade, SpaceShipOne has been on display as one of the hanging artifacts in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. It was specifically positioned to depict the aircraft in its initial stage of powered flight (30 degrees, nose up attitude) just after release from its White Knight mother ship, which carried it aloft to   …Continue Reading


Inside Look: Celebrating New Horizons With the Mission Team

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On July 13 and 14, I was invited to visit the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, for the New Horizons Pluto Flyby Events. These included various panels and speakers including Tom Krimigis, the only person to have been a part of a mission to visit all nine major bodies in our   …Continue Reading