As SpaceX and Blue Origin continue to make history by building rockets that will take future space vacationers to the Moon or Mars, the Museum is thinking about how to preserve the history of these private companies. Back in the 1960’s and up until now, it was easy for historians to access public records at NASA that documented the space race; and that’s not the case now. According to our Adjunct Curator for Space History, Geoff Nunn, “corporate archives are becoming ever more important, but private records don’t automatically make their way through the public record trail like NASA documents did.” Geoff and other space historians now have to ask themselves, “How do you archive a Slack thread?” and “What happens when YouTube goes under and we no longer have videos of launches?”
Welcome to the
Flight Deck Podcast
Listen to all of the Museum’s best aviation and aerospace stories on the Flight Deck Podcast, a podcast that makes history personal. Episodes released every other Tuesday. Enjoy!
The American Fighter Aces Association preserves the memories of pilots who have sacrificed bravely for their country, and the Museum is home to its collection of artifacts and stories
Bob Jacobson, R2-D2 builder extraordinaire, claims that he wasn’t always into engineering, but the process of building his droid forced him to learn some basic and advanced techniques.
A faceless mannequin wearing a 1920s’ style dress is posed next to our Boeing model 40B, but it’s not just there for show. The mannequin represents Jane Eads, the world’s very first transcontinental commercial airline passenger.
Back in 1977, when Bob Alexander was just a young engineer, he was chosen to work on a challenging new project: the Hubble space telescope.
This week we talk to Kevin Gordon, first officer for Alaska Airlines, who graciously answers questions that our listeners have submitted via social media.
Did you know that for every month you spend in space, you lose about 2% BMI? Neither did we until we talked to Tommy Gantz, one of our volunteers and resident space experts.
Hustling in and out of a Huey helicopter is one of the most vivid memories of Platoon leader David Waggoner and crew chief Jerry Sousa: it took 10-15 seconds to load and unload the helicopter, and their journeys took them to hot zones where they were vulnerable to enemy fire. The Huey and those who flew in it were fearless, reporting to every call no matter how dangerous, and ended up transporting over 90,000 soldiers during the war. Ultimately, Waggoner and Sousa want listeners to know that Huey pilots “fought against the odds to save soldiers’ lives,” and they look forward to sharing more stories about Vietnam by giving tours in our new exhibit.
Dick Gordon passed away in November 2017, and author and volunteer Jake Schultz had the honor of recording Gordon’s oral history few months prior to learn about his experiences as an astronaut.