Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Amy Stamm

Balloon Expert Reacts to the Bridgerton Runaway Balloon Scene

Just how accurate is the portrayal of lighter-than-air flight in the third season of Bridgerton? Ballooning curator Tom Paone provides historical context.

A museum display features a statue of a male astronaut standing with his arms outstretched in front of a metal sculpture lit by red and purple lighting. A museum visitor stands in a similar pose in front of the statue.

A Cultural History of Soviet Cosmonauts

Two U.S. Navy men in uniform--a pilot and an aviator — stand in front of the cockpit of an F-4B Phantom II military jet aircraft.

Reflections from a Vietnam War POW

A small silver pin shows a smiling Snoopy, a cartoon dog, wearing a spacesuit with a large clear glass helmet, performing his iconic happy beagle dance.

The Story of Snoopy in Space

Speedball Alice, a restored dark green P-51D airplane with white stripes, is parked on a tarmac in the Reno desert, with mountains and blue sky in the background.

The Final Reno Air Show

Underside view of space shuttle in flight with blue sky background.

Space Shuttle Astronauts Tell All

A black-and-white photo, tinged light brown, shows around 3/4 of massive airship as it exits a pitch black hangar opening.

Are We in an Airship Renaissance?

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Barbie: An Astronaut for the Ages

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Preserving Launch Infrastructure

Michael Collins, the Museum's third director, stands before the steel skeleton of the new National Air and Space Museum in July 1974.

Carrying the Fire

Lt. Ward Hitt, Jr., sitting in the cockpit of his North American F-86A Sabre fighter, gives his crew chief the OK hand sign, South Korea.

70 Years Ago: F-86s and MiGs over Korea

Gen. Glen VanHerck, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command talks on the phone as part of a video celebrating the NORAD Santa Tracker's 65th year.

Why NORAD Tracks Santa Claus

Chuck Yeager with Bell X-1. (NASM)

Remembering Chuck Yeager, a Pilot with the Right Stuff

Artist's concept of Mars 2020 rover with sample tubes.

Why NASA Is Headed Back to Mars with Mars Rover Perseverance

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley walk through Crew Access Arm in SpaceX spacesuits during a dress rehearsal for the first crewed SpaceX launch.

SpaceX Dragon Launch and Entry Suits

Space X's Crew Dragon spacecraft, which is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Redefining How NASA Gets into Space

The V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe Eins, or Vengeance Weapon One), was the world's first operational cruise missile. (Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Insitution)

The Myth of the German “Wonder Weapons”

A set of Star Wars toys manufactured for the release of The Empire Strikes Back, 1980. This set was donated to the Museum in 1997 from a private donor, Michael O’Harro. Credit: Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum.

Star Wars: A Merchandising Empire

The aircraft that enjoyed what was perhaps the longest and most successful career in air racing history was Steve Wittman's Chief Oshkosh, known in the post-World War II era as Buster. From 1931 until its retirement in 1954, this midget racer set records and took numerous trophies in class races and free-for-alls

The Many Lives of Buster the Air Racer

Zeiss Projector in the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum, weeks before being deinstalled.

Farewell to the Zeiss Planetarium Projector