AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: History

Solar Impulse: Rhyming with the Past, Looking to the Future

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In 1911, the first airplane to fly across the United States completed the more than 4,000-mile journey over 49 days, in 82 hours flying time, at an average speed of 51.5 miles per hour. It was an extraordinary aviation milestone in its day. Just eight years after the Wright brothers inaugurated the aerial age with   …Continue Reading


Two Years Ago Today

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Two years ago today, the space shuttle Discovery was launched for the last time.  My friend Nicole Gugliucci scored a quartet of tickets for the launch and shared them with me, along with our friends and classmates Joleen Carlberg and Gail Zasowski.  Facing an overwhelming load of graduate school work, we decided that a road   …Continue Reading


Remembering Neil Armstrong

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I first heard the sad news while having a late lunch with friends at a seafood restaurant on the water in Annapolis, Maryland. Neil Armstrong passed away today, August 25, 2012, from complications resulting from heart bypass surgery. He was 82 years old. We will all miss him, not just because he was the first   …Continue Reading


Telstar and the world of 1962

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Last week, the Museum recognized the 50th anniversary of Telstar, the first “active” satellite (one that can receive a radio signal from a ground station and then immediately re-transmit it to another) and the first technology of any kind that enabled transatlantic television transmissions.  In 1962, both accomplishments generated intense interest, excitement, and commentary.  Telstar   …Continue Reading


Watching the War From Above

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The nation is in the process of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and those of us at the Smithsonian are very much involved, searching our collections for items that will help our visitors better understand the conflict that divided 19th century America. As might be expected, the National Museum of American History,   …Continue Reading