Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Happy Birthday to the World’s First Woman in Space

Posted on

Happy birthday Valentina Tereshkova! March 6th marks the 78th birthday of the world’s first woman to fly in space. Nearly 52 years ago, beginning on June 16, 1963, Tereshkova became the first woman to orbit the Earth for two days inside her Vostok 6 spacecraft—a similar spacecraft to the one that carried Yuri Gagarin into   …Continue Reading


Celebrating “Star Trek,” Remembering Nimoy

Posted on

News of Lenoard Nimoy’s passing was felt far and wide at the National Air and Space Museum. It may come as no surprise that many members of our staff—the same folks who have dedicated their careers to inspiring and educating the public about aerospace history—are also huge Star Trek fans. As we remember Nimoy’s legacy,   …Continue Reading


To Me, Mr. Nimoy Was Mr. Spock

Posted on

All actors create characters. Some of these characters even achieve iconic status. However, what Leonard Nimoy created was legendary. Spock appeals to so many different people in so many different ways. Prior to Star Trek, most television characters were formulaic. Dad wore a hat, mom wore a dress, and the children were all sugar coated.   …Continue Reading


Vance Marchbanks’ Contribution to Public Health Policy on Sickle Cell Disease

Posted on

Dr. Vance Marchbanks, Jr. is famous in both the black history and aerospace history communities for his accomplishments as one of the first in his field. He was one of two black MDs to complete the United States Army Air Corps School in Aerospace Medicine at the beginning of World War II. His fame continued   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: WWI U.S. Army Protective Helmet Used by American Rocket Society

Posted on

What does a piece of World War I Army surplus have to do with early rocketry? Well, a helmet from the war, painted white for easier visibility, provided protection for American Rocket Society members during rocket testing in the 1930s. One such member was G. Edward Pendray a newspaper reporter and editor, freelance writer, and   …Continue Reading