AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Research

A New Curiosity

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There is a strange looking car parked in the west end of the National Air and Space Museum in downtown Washington, DC. For now, it is only visible behind its security screen from the second floor landing above. From that vantage, the vehicle’s six wheels, robotic arm, mast, and other protrusions are clearly visible. But   …Continue Reading


Collecting Popular Culture

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From April 20 to April 23, curators from the Aeronautics Division and the Space History Division attended the 2011 National Conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) in San Antonio, Texas. Tom Crouch of the Aeronautics Division organized a session on museum collecting and collectors titled “Collecting the Popular Culture of Flight at   …Continue Reading


What Can You Really See From Space?

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Most people know that satellites in orbit do useful things such as collect images of the Earth’s surface. At the National Air and Space Museum I use satellite images in my job to understand changes in the Earth’s land surface. Today millions of people are acquainted with satellite imagery on internet map services. People sometimes   …Continue Reading


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


Vintage Aircraft Tool Cataloging, Re-housing and Preservation Project

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In the years following WWII the United States and her Allies conducted engineering and flight tests of many different types of captured or surrendered Axis aircraft, primarily from Germany and Japan. Many of these aircraft were acquired by Allied and US technical intelligence collection teams.  It was ordered that at least one of each type   …Continue Reading