Author Archives: The National Air and Space Museum

Antonie Strassmann – German Movie Star, American Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan Pilot

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The National Air and Space Museum Archives hold biographical information on many people related to aviation, but it is still surprising to find articles about one Antonie Strassmann, a famous German actress of the 1920s. The few clippings indicate a fascinating story – a woman pilot who had performed on stage and in silent movies,   …Continue Reading


The New Milestones

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On July 1, 1976, President Gerald Ford presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of the new National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall. A red, white, and blue ribbon across the entrance was severed when a signal sent from the Viking 1 spacecraft orbiting Mars activated a mechanical arm identical   …Continue Reading


Fooling Around at the Front

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Most of the thousands of World War I photographs in the collections of the Air and Space Museum’s Archives Department are grimly utilitarian – aerial views of trenches, aircraft and details of their construction and the damage they sustained during dangerous missions. But the young pilots who flew those missions had a reputation for light-heartedness,   …Continue Reading


The Big Jump

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The National Air and Space Museum boasts an extraordinary collection of record setting balloon baskets and gondolas. There is Explorer II, which carried U.S. Army Air Corps Captains Albert W. Stevens and Orvil Anderson to a record altitude of (22,066 meters) 72,395 feet on November 11, 1935. In August 1978, Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and   …Continue Reading


Remembering William Reid “Bill” Pogue

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Pilot, Astronaut, Author 1930-2014 Bill Pogue may be best known as an astronaut who served on America’s Skylab space station and author of the book he titled with the perennial question astronauts are asked to answer, How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space? Before becoming an astronaut in 1966 at the age of   …Continue Reading