Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Twenty Years of GPS and Instrument Flight

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On February 16, 1994, a significant milestone in American aviation occurred when the Federal Aviation Administration certified the first GPS unit for use in IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) operations. Twenty years later, GPS has become the dominant form of en route navigation as well as the primary technology for guiding aircraft in low-visibility approaches to   …Continue Reading


Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, The Greatest Stick and Rudder Man, is Honored in Hollywood

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On the evening of Friday, February 21, friends of legendary pilot Bob Hoover will gather with him at Paramount Studios Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate his “Lifetime of Achievement.”  We doubt this Red Carpet event will make Access Hollywood but of course that is not the point.  Instead, these friends will gather to honor   …Continue Reading


Double Word Score: CURATOR says YES

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It was not on Valentine’s Day, but love was in the air at the Udvar-Hazy Center on Veteran’s Day in 2005. Two and a half years into dating, my then-boyfriend Ben came up with a very creative and meaningful way to propose to me. He knew how proud I was of setting up our display   …Continue Reading


Photobombs at the Observatory?!

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It was just another day at the National Air and Space Museum’s Public Observatory… The Sun was shining, birds were chirping, and we ended up seeing both! This incredible footage was caught purely by accident as Smithsonian staff tried to image the Sun. The imaging process begins with a video capture of the Sun using   …Continue Reading


Looking Back, Looking Ahead in January 2014

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Like Janus, the two-faced god of transitions in Roman mythology, the human spaceflight community looks to the past and future as January turns to February. In 2004, NASA instituted a Day of Remembrance for three crews lost in horrific accidents. Work pauses briefly at all NASA Centers on January 31 for a ceremonial tribute and   …Continue Reading