AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Filming the Story of Getting from Here to There

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The central theme of the Time and Navigation exhibition is the connection between timekeeping and determining position. The main point is this: “If you want to know where you are, you need an accurate clock.”  Centuries ago, accurate chronometers were required to determine longitude at sea. In recent years, global satellite navigation systems require accurate   …Continue Reading


The Curious Story of a Cuban Missile Crisis Artifact

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On Monday morning, October 15, 1962, CIA photo interpreters (PIs) hovered anxiously over a light table at the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). The mood was urgent and foreboding. They peered down on 928 photographs of high quality—some of the best shots had a resolution of three feet. The images were just 24 hours old   …Continue Reading


Langley Preservation Project: Thinking Outside the Box

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In 1887, Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian.  Included among his many accomplishments is his founding of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1890.  His research in the fields of astronomy, physics, and aviation remain a testament to his diverse interests.  While Secretary, Langley took up the challenge of powered flight.  Langley’s   …Continue Reading


Preserving and Displaying the “Bat-Wing Ship” – July Update

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This post is a follow up to Preserving and Displaying the “Bat-Wing Ship” published on September 9, 2011. After preparing hundreds of condition reports last winter on the many artifacts that curators plan to exhibit in the upcoming Time and Navigation gallery opening at the Museum in Washington, DC in April, 2013, while simultaneously helping the   …Continue Reading


Ray Bradbury and the Lost Planetarium Show

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When I learned Ray Bradbury died on June 5, 2012, two things came to mind. First, that I ought to pick up a copy of Farewell Summer, which I’d been meaning to read, Bradbury’s late-in-life sequel to my favorite book of his, Dandelion Wine. Second, that I ought to reread that personal letter he sent   …Continue Reading