AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Research

Finding History on eBay

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One question I’m often asked as a curator is, “do you ever find anything interesting for the museum on eBay?” The answer is yes. This is the story of a particularly interesting find. When developing the aviation component of the museum’s “Time and Navigation” exhibit, I wanted to showcase the role of navigational radar in   …Continue Reading


Flying Low and Slow Over a Lava Flow

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This September, Larry Crumpler, a research colleague at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and I were able to fly in the back seats of two weight-shifting ultralight aircraft during a two-hour flight over the McCartys lava flow in central New Mexico. This flow is 3,000 years old and over 47 km   …Continue Reading


This Pie is out of this World

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It’s said that “art imitates life,” but how about baked goods imitating geologic formations!  Strange as it might seem, the MESSENGER spacecraft that has been orbiting the planet Mercury since March, 2011 has discovered unusual groups of ridges and troughs that do just that – imitate a common baked-good, a pie.  Families of extensional troughs   …Continue Reading


“A Company of Scholars”: A Brief History of the National Air and Space Museum’s Fellowship Program

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The Museum is accepting applications for fellowships from November 1, 2012 – January 15, 2013. Most people know the National Air and Space Museum as the premier location in the United States, and perhaps in the world, for the display of the artifacts of aerospace history. Not so well publicized is the fact that the Museum is   …Continue Reading


Investigating the Apollo Valley

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In July, I joined a team from Johnson Space Center and elsewhere in investigating the geology of Apollo Valley with rover-deployed scientific instruments. Apollo Valley is a former 1960s Apollo-era astronaut training site at 3,505 meters (11,500 feet) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The project was funded by NASA’s Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities Program, which   …Continue Reading