AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Hidden Treasures

Obscure Objects: Apollo Soucek’s High Altitude Flying Helmet

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What did Alaskan Natives contribute to the realm of high altitude flying? Their knowledge of the physics of warmth. When Navy pilot Lt. Apollo Soucek climbed in an open-cockpit Wright XF3W Apache airplane to a world record altitude of 13,160 meters (43,166 feet) on June 4, 1930, he was prepared for the cold temperatures he   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: WWI U.S. Army Protective Helmet Used by American Rocket Society

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What does a piece of World War I Army surplus have to do with early rocketry? Well, a helmet from the war, painted white for easier visibility, provided protection for American Rocket Society members during rocket testing in the 1930s. One such member was G. Edward Pendray a newspaper reporter and editor, freelance writer, and   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Tom Stafford’s Jingle Bells and Wally Schirra’s Harmonica

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It is not unusual for astronauts who find themselves in space around December 25 to display a little holiday spirit. Gemini VI astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra were no exception. Gemini VI was originally scheduled to launch on October 25, 1965 and dock with the unmanned Agena Target Vehicle, but the flight was canceled   …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


Birthday Star

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This is a story about light and time and distance, about years and light years and how they intersect. It is partly a personal story, so I beg your indulgence. I hope it will inspire you to find your own star. I moved from Boston to Northern Virginia in November 1983 to work as an   …Continue Reading