Arthur C. Clarke in his study, circa 1936.

Letters from a Science Fiction Giant

Exploring the riches of the Arthur C. Clarke Collection at the National Air and Space Museum.

For three years, Lauren Cooper has been an ISS operations engineer. In the Johnson Space Center mission control room, she remains alert (note coffee cup) through eight-hour shifts.

We Control the Space Station

Lauren Cooper, International Space Station Operations Engineer, Johnson Space Center, NASA.

The Memphis Belle being loaded with practice bombs, at MacDill AAF.

Return of the <i>Memphis Belle</i>

75 years after its crew finished their last mission, the iconic aircraft is unveiled to the public.

Polish paratroopers learn the fine points of landing during training near Fife, Scotland, in 1942.

You’ve Got the Job, Now Here’s Your Parachute

Tired of your hum-drum life? Why not become a secret agent?

U.S. B-29 pilots, unaware of the jet stream, were surprised that bombs dropped from high altitudes scattered before reaching the ground.

Why Was the Discovery of the Jet Stream Mostly Ignored?

Maybe because it was published in Esperanto.

An F-100D—the same aircraft in the National Air and Space Museum collection—flies over the Mekong Delta, circa 1968.

The Battle of Bien Hoa Air Base

50 years after the start of the Tet Offensive, F-100 pilots remember the attack.

The aircraft shows traces of multiple sets of U.S. markings including the aircraft's pre-war paint scheme, and the wartime haze-blue that was applied in the days following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Museum’s Only Surviving Aircraft From Pearl Harbor Is Now on Display

In 1941, this cargo plane went into combat.

Astronomy intern Danielle Rowland stands with a model of the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

Danielle Rowland, Astrophysics Intern

A summer job at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Archivist Patti Williams pulls an item from the more than 1,920 cubic feet of material in the National Air and Space Museum’s Technical Reference Files.

80,000 Ways to Search the Archive

Plumbing the secrets of the Museum’s Tech Files.


Best Children’s Books of 2017

The best aviation- and space-themed books for young readers in 2017.


Art Nalls, Badass Pilot

What else would you call the man who flies the only privately owned Sea Harrier in the world?

A Mosquito in flight; of the more than 7,000 built, only three known airworthy examples survive.

The Secret Mosquito Stash

When Airbus tried to demolish a building, it uncovered treasure.

“Kestrels are renowned raptor aerialists,” writes Traer Scott in the book’s introduction. “A kestrel is a type of falcon that is able to hover in midair. This feat is achieved by beating its wings back and forth extremely fast, much like a tiny hummingbird.” This image was taken at Horizon Wings.

Raptors: Portraits of Birds of Prey

Everything from cute baby chicks to majestic birds of prey, as seen through photographer Traer Scott’s lens.

Nose view of the Consolidated B-24D Lady Be Good crash site.

World War II’s Most Famous Ghost Plane

In time for Halloween, a look back at “Lady Be Good.”

Happy passengers deplane from the Pan American Airways Boeing 314 "Honolulu Clipper" in a 1939 brochure. PAA offered weekly service between San Francisco and Hong Kong via Honolulu, Midway, Wake, Guam, Manila, and Macao.

Picturing Pan Am

A gallery of images, in honor of the iconic (and defunct) airline’s 90th birthday.

Although the Museum’s Lear Jet was retired from flying status in June 1966, it continued to perform as a wind-tunnel test model with NASA for years.

Birth of the Bizjet

Bill Lear created a jet for the Jet Set.

Brian Monroe at Goddard Space Flight Center’s Conceptual Image Laboratory.

Brian Monroe, NASA Animator

The space agency needs filmmakers, too.

From Lot #4: The Lilienthal glider in the National Air and Space Museum was built by Lilienthal in late 1895 to early 1896, and was purchased from him by the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst in the spring of 1896. Hearst eventually gave the glider to John Brisben Walker, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, who donated it to the Smithsonian in 1906. It is one of five Lilienthal gliders remaining in the world.

What Were the First 10 Items In the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum?

Hint: It started with a purchase from Frederick Stringfellow in 1889.

Connor Shields in the cockpit of a 777, which he flies around the world for Southern Air. The company provides long-haul cargo service, operating 777 and 737 freighters, for customers like DHL. Shields’ first flight—at age four—was in a Douglas DC‑3.

The Youngest 777 First Officer In the World

Connor Shields, First Officer, Southern Air

The National Air and Space Museum’s F4F-4/FM-1—the 400th FM-1 built by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors—is currently on display in the Sea-Air Operations exhibition.

The “Hit and Git” Fighter

How the Grumman F4F Wildcat survived.

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