AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: History

Well, is it Flak Bait or Flak-Bait?

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As the curator for the Museum’s Martin B-26B Marauder, I’ve become obsessed with the proper way to designate the name given to it by its first pilot Jim Farrell in August 1943. It all centers on the pesky use of a hyphen. Is it Flak Bait or Flak-Bait? You see both in archival documents, historical   …Continue Reading


NASA’s Early Stand on Women Astronauts: “No Present Plans to Include Women on Space Flights”

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In 1962, young Linda Halpern decided to fulfill a school assignment by inquiring about how she could pursue a dream. Required to write a letter for a grade-school class, Ms. Halpern addressed hers to President John F. Kennedy, asking what she would need to do to become an astronaut. The reply that came from the   …Continue Reading


Investigating the Writing on Columbia’s Walls

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I recently shared that we uncovered handwritten notes and markings inside the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia—the spacecraft that carried astronauts Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin into lunar orbit and home on their historic voyage of July 1969. As part of our collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office to create a detailed 3D model of   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Ruth Law’s World War I Liberty Bonds Leaflet

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No one could say Ruth Law was a novice. She had been flying since 1912. She was the first woman to fly at night, in a biplane purchased from Orville Wright. She was the first woman to make a living as a professional pilot, ferrying guests to and from the Clarendon Hotel near Daytona, Florida,   …Continue Reading


Remembering Test Pilot Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown

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A Tribute to British Royal Navy officer and experimental test pilot Captain Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown (27 January 1919 – 21 February 2016) I met Eric Brown in April 2013 at the Royal Air Force Club in Piccadilly, London. Enthusiastically, he had agreed to this meeting to answer my research questions. The first thing I   …Continue Reading