Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Adjusting Our Atomic Clock for the Leap Second

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Our exhibition Time and Navigation features an atomic clock that will keep an accurate time within a tiny fraction of a second for the foreseeable future (see my earlier post to learn how atomic clocks work and how we installed ours into the exhibition). Except, of course, when we need to account for a leap second.  What’s   …Continue Reading


A “Box of Time” in the Time and Navigation Exhibition

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In our exhibition Time and Navigation visitors can set their watches by a working cesium frequency standard, commonly known as an “atomic clock,” on loan from the National Museum of American History. The exhibit allows visitors to see different methods of measuring time, including mechanical and electrical clocks. A digital display on the atomic clock shows the global   …Continue Reading


Inside the Sally K. Ride Papers – Now Open for Research

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Last October, we announced that we had acquired the collection of Sally K. Ride, the first American woman in space. Now, we can share that the archival portion of the collection has been processed and is available for research! See our finding aid for more detailed information. The Sally K. Ride collection consists of more   …Continue Reading


Crossing the Atlantic in a Wicker Chair

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If you were going to fly non-stop for 33½ hours, what kind of chair would you want to sit in? For Charles Lindbergh, it was this simple wicker chair. The Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis was a modified version of the Ryan M-2 aircraft created specifically for the long flight from New York to   …Continue Reading


A New Home for an Old Glove

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Who would think that a damaged, old leather glove, with the thumb badly torn, could be a valuable item? But if that damaged glove belonged to Luftwaffe pilot Günther Rall, with 275 aerial victories and the third highest scoring ace in aviation history, then it becomes an item of unique historic value. And now that   …Continue Reading