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Rummaging in the Archives Tech Files

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I suspect that most households have what my parents used to call our “junk drawer,” a place for storing miscellaneous small stuff. Ours was in a handy location, the kitchen. It held scissors, rubber bands, toothpicks, matches, various keys, pins and pens, and spare parts for this and that. Some of the things we used   …Continue Reading


Remembering Jerrie Mock (1925-2014)

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Shortly before the red and white Cessna 180 was to be suspended at the Udvar-Hazy Center for public display, I called its pilot to give her the news. Geraldine ‘Jerrie’ Mock was delighted that Charlie, as she affectionately called her plane, would be displayed again. Jerrie flew Charlie in 1964 to become the first woman   …Continue Reading


Discovery’s First Launch: Four Times on the Pad

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Thirty years ago Discovery ascended into space for the first time, after three thwarted launch attempts. Originally scheduled to lift off in June 1984, Discovery launched on August 30 as the twelfth space shuttle mission. The first attempt on June 25 was scrubbed at the routine T-20 minute hold due to error messages from the   …Continue Reading


More Than Just an Internship

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Walking through the tall glass doors into the National Air and Space Museum for the first day of my internship wasn’t quite what I expected. I had always pictured a noisy museum bustling with tourists and crowds, but what I encountered was just the opposite. In the morning before people arrive, the museum is a   …Continue Reading


Remembering Frederick Ira Ordway, III

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Fred Ordway passed away in Huntsville, Alabama, on the morning of Tuesday July 1. We were friends for 40 years, but then I can’t think of anyone in the aerospace community with a wider circle of friends than Fred. We have a tradition at the Museum of honoring deceased aerospace leaders with a short obituary   …Continue Reading