Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Finding Treasures in the Arthur C. Clarke Collection

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Earlier this month, I wrote about some of the behind-the-scenes work it took to survey and pack the Arthur C. Clarke Collection for transfer to the National Air and Space Museum. In this post, I wanted to highlight the types of material that make up this wonderful collection. These were all found during my cursory survey   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Glenn Curtiss Motorcycle

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You may know the name Glenn Curtiss in association with early aviation, but did you know he was a pioneer in motorcycle design too? Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, New York, in 1878, and from a young age exhibited strong mechanical ability. In his teens he was a champion bicycle racer with a keen interest   …Continue Reading


Three Pilots – One War: Commemorating World War I

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One-hundred years ago, World War I was raging in Europe. In the end, over 17 million lives were lost, among them seven million civilians. More than 40 countries were involved in the most widespread war the world had ever seen, a war that was fought in Europe, the Near East, Africa, East Asia, and on   …Continue Reading


Finding Pluto With the Blink Comparator

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It all started at a special public lecture at the Museum in July 2014 given by Alan Stern, the lead scientist for the New Horizons mission, which will fly past Pluto this July. Among the attendees was William Lowell Putnam IV, sole trustee of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona—the place where Pluto was found   …Continue Reading


Did the Brooklyn Dodgers help get us to the Moon?

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In his memoir Moon Lander, Grumman project manager Thomas Kelly describes the exhilaration at Grumman for winning the contract to build what became the Lunar Module (LM), followed by trepidation when the design team realized the severe weight restraints they had to work under in order to get two astronauts safely to the lunar surface and   …Continue Reading