AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Planetary Science

MESSENGER on Final Approach to Mercury

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Today at 8:45 pm EDT (March 18, 2011, 12:45 am UTC), MESSENGER will become the first spacecraft ever to enter Mercury’s orbit. With MESSENGER on the last leg of its journey, I’m reminded how long it has taken to get there.  I watched the spacecraft launch in the early morning hours of August 3, 2004, almost   …Continue Reading


Seeing Beneath the Surface of the Moon

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“Remote sensing” is a term used to describe many different types of observations carried out at a distance. Aerial photos, satellite images of the Earth and planets, and telescope views of our solar system are all forms of remote sensing used to understand geology, climate, hazards, and changes over time. Not all remote observations use   …Continue Reading


A ‘Spectacular’ Hoax Continues to Fool E-mail Readers

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As an astronomy educator here at the National Air and Space Museum, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with thousands of visitors, especially in our Public Observatory. I’ve enjoyed the many chances to discuss the wonders of the Universe and to answer visitors’ astronomy-related questions. However, I tend to dread the month of August because   …Continue Reading


What are Your Favorite Aerospace History Conspiracy Theories?

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We have been discussing at the National Air and Space Museum the possibility of pursuing an educational workshop on the place of conspiracy theories in modern America, especially as it relates to aerospace history but also in the broader context of our national history. Does it hold any interest for you? If we go forward   …Continue Reading


Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

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July 15-24 marked the 35th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), the famous “Handshake in Space.” ASTP was the first American-Soviet space flight, docking the last American Apollo spacecraft with the then-Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. This joint effort between the two major world players was based on an agreement signed in 1972, and it set a   …Continue Reading