Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Orion Test Flight: Back to the Future

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If weather permits and no last-minute technical issues arise, NASA’s next-generation crew exploration vehicle launches into space for the first time on December 4*, 2014. The engineering test flight with no one aboard the craft is planned to last four hours, make two orbits at a distance of 3,600 miles, and splash down off the   …Continue Reading


Making Moves in Milestones

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If you visit the Museum in Washington, DC, you may notice a few key objects have been removed from display. The last several weeks have been especially busy for our Collections Processing Unit. More than 15 objects have already been moved as part of the major renovation of the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall—scheduled to   …Continue Reading


Thanksgiving Day in Space

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“Pass the turkey, please.” “Do you have room for dessert?” The elements of a traditional Thanksgiving meal are passed around in plastic pouches instead of platters and bowls, but the spirit of this holiday in space is the same as at home. Gathered around (or over!) a makeshift table, crewmates have celebrated Thanksgiving on Skylab,   …Continue Reading


Seeing Apollo 12

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On November 19, 1969, 45 years ago and three short months after the landing of Apollo 11, Commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean landed their lunar module “Intrepid” on the Ocean of Storms, just walking distance from the Surveyor III spacecraft. Their near pinpoint landing showed that Moon landings could continue,   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Gus Grissom’s Glove Dip Forms

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This is the first in a series of blog posts on little-known artifacts in the Museum’s collection. Of all the parts of a spacesuit, the gloves are the most difficult to make. They must allow for the “right amount of dexterity and a sense of touch to work with tools,” says Cathleen Lewis, Museum spacesuit   …Continue Reading