Astronauts

The massive 170,000-pound Discovery measures 122 feet long by 58 feet tall with a wingspan of 78 feet.

Following the 1986 and 2003 Shuttle Disasters, 'Discovery' Launched America Back Into Space

This “Champion of the Fleet,” a signature Smithsonian artifact, flew 39 space missions and traveled 150 million miles

The researchers flew their fridge on parabolic flights to simulate a microgravity environment.

Innovation for Good

The Quest to Build a Functional, Energy-Efficient Refrigerator That Works in Space

Designed and tested by Purdue University engineers, this new appliance would lengthen the shelf life of food on long missions

Palomar 5 is located about 80,000 light-years from Earth in the Milky Way’s inner halo.

Scientists Discover Bevy of Black Holes in Our Own Galaxy

Palomar 5's unusual cluster may explain some of the Milky Way's star streams and other phenomena

NASA just announced a partnership with Tide to figure out how to do laundry in space. Solving this problem will allow astronauts to stop throwing away their dirty clothes, which means some missions must ferry hundreds of pounds of clean clothes into space.

NASA Just Put Doing the Laundry on Astronauts' Chore List

Dirty clothes are currently thrown away, requiring missions where weight is at a premium to bring many pounds of socks, shirts and underwear

These baby bobtail squid going to the International Space Station for an experiment that examines whether space alters the symbiotic relationship between the squid and a bioluminescent bacterium that allows them to glow.

NASA Is Launching Tardigrades and Baby Squid Into Space

The experiments could help astronauts stay healthy and survive longer outside Earth’s atmosphere

Astronaut Sally Ride (left) and poet Maya Angelou (right) will be the first individuals honored through the American Women Quarters Program.

Women Who Shaped History

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride to Be Among First Women Featured on U.S. Quarters

Between 2022 and 2025, the U.S. Mint is set to highlight up to 20 trailblazing American women

Michael Collins' NASA astronaut portrait.

Smithsonian Voices

Remembering Michael Collins

As the third director of the National Air and Space Museum, the former astronaut campaigned for a museum on the Mall in time for the nation’s bicentennial

This view of Gemini VII from VI-A in December 1965 shows the spacecraft’s orbital configuration.

Smithsonian Voices

How Neil Armstrong Avoided Near-Disaster to Make the First Space Docking

Smithsonian curator Michael Neufeld recounts the harrowing details of when Gemini Vlll astronauts faced the first life-threatening, in-flight emergency

Jessica U. Meir plays sax in the Cupola.

How Do Astronauts Spend Their Weekends in Space?

They take time off and practice their hobbies, though that wasn't always the case

Christina Koch (left) poses for a portrait with Jessica Meir while preparing for their first spacewalk together.

Smithsonian Voices

Gender-Inclusive Language Puts an End to the Era of 'Manned' Spaceflight

It is time to honor six decades of women's contributions to spaceflight, says the Air and Space Museum, with unbiased verbs like 'crewed' or 'piloted'

Astronaut Scott Kelly shown in October of 2010 in the Cupola of the International Space Station.

New Research

How Space Travel Shrank Astronaut Scott Kelly's Heart

While in orbit, the adaptable muscle doesn't need to combat gravity to pump blood

Alan Shepard, who was both an astronaut and a golf lover, said he got the idea while training for his Apollo 14 mission. “I thought: What a neat place to whack a golf ball.”

When Astronaut Alan Shepard Hit the Golf Shot Heard 'Round the World

“The Moon is one big sand trap,” the astronaut said after he brought the game to a new frontier

In theory, the wood would burn up upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere. But wooden space junk is still space junk.

Japan Hopes to Send a Wooden Satellite to Space in 2023

The group hopes the cube-shaped wood orbiter will help reduce space waste

North American species like the Colorado potato beetle and the fall armyworm have become invasive elsewhere.

Ask Smithsonian

Have Any North American Species Become Invasive Elsewhere in the World?

You've got question. We've got experts

NASA astronaut and pilot Victor Glover launched from the International Space Station on the agency’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

Smithsonian Voices

Five Things We Learned From Astronaut Victor Glover

Discover what it's really like to live and work in space! Astronaut Victor Glover shares his thoughts and little-known facts about being an astronaut

On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched from Kennedy Space Center at 7:51 a.m. EST with Frank Borman in command. His crew became the first humans to ride the mighty Saturn V rocket, breaking the bonds of Earth’s physical pull and entering the gravitational field of another celestial body.

How Apollo 8 Delivered Christmas Eve Peace and Understanding to the World

In a new book, Smithsonian curator Teasel Muir-Harmony examines the geopolitics during NASA’s space flight program

John Glenn by Henry C. Caselli, Jr., 1998 is in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Why John Glenn Couldn't Escape the Hero Label

A new book explores the man who would serve his country as a fighter pilot, an astronaut and a U.S. Senator

This year's top ten titles explore the cosmos, fear and cleanliness alongside narratives about owls, fish and eels.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2020

New titles explore the mysterious lives of eels, the science of fear and our connections to the stars

To keep Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit from degrading, conservators designed a custom mannequin that allows air to circulate inside.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on the Invisible Work of the Smithsonian's Conservators

From deep cleaning to painstaking repairs, caring for Smithsonian’s 155 million objects requires serious TLC—and steady hands

The only photograph of Neil Armstrong on the moon resurfaced in the 1980s after years of obscurity.

You Could Own the First Space Selfie, Only Photo of Neil Armstrong on the Moon

Online Christie's sale features 2,400 photographs from "the golden age of space exploration"

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