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. We hope you enjoy it!!

The Politics Of The Moon Landings Part II

June 1, 2021 / Podcast, FlightDeck, History, Space, NASA, Apollo, Storytelling, SpaceTravel, Apollo 11, Exhibits, aerospace

Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator of the Apollo program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, once again joins host Sean Mobley in this conclusion to the two-episode series on the political history of the Apollo program. In this episode, she talks about the classic 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and its place in Apollo political history, how domestic and international perceptions of the Apollo program varied quite significantly, and what role museums have in helping people deconstruct their understandings of history when new research challenges long-held ideas previously accepted as fact. We highly recommend listening to the previous episode before this one. 

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The Politics Of The Moon Landings Part I

May 18, 2021 / Podcast, FlightDeck, History, Space, NASA, Apollo, Storytelling, SpaceTravel, Apollo 11, Exhibits, aerospace

Returning guest Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator of the Apollo program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, joins host Sean Mobley for a Q&A about her book Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo. In this first of a two-part series, Teasel sets the stage and talks about the wider global context within which the US space program operated. We discussed the American politicians who encouraged and shaped panic around Sputnik and the space race, the importance of symbolism in a lot of the images and actions the astronauts took both on the moon and here on Earth, and how racism was a national security risk which the space program was partially designed to counter. 

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Phil Stamper and The Gravity of Us

December 22, 2020 / Podcast, Space, NASA, Storytelling, aerospace, LGBTQ+

In this final episode of 2020, we welcome author Phil Stamper onto the show for a discussion of adapting space history into fiction for a modern young adult audience, the literary inspirations for his book The Gravity of Us, and the realities LGBTQ+ astronauts faced throughout NASA history from Sally Ride all the way back to the days of Project Mercury. 

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Another Space Toilet Episode

October 6, 2020 / Podcast, FlightDeck, History, Space, NASA, Storytelling, Space Shuttle, Exhibits, aerospace

It’s common to hear a visitor to The Museum of Flight wonder how astronauts go to the bathroom in space. Today is the continuation of a conversation with Museum of Flight staff member Brenda Mandt, who spearheads the tours of the Museum’s NASA Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer, where she talks about modern space toilets on the Space Shuttle and on the ISS. She also talks about what did and didn’t about toilet and personal care needs when women joined the US space program. As with the previous episode (which you can listen to here), this is a frank and honest conversation about toilets and what goes in them, so listen to learn more but maybe not while you’re snacking. 

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The Space Toilet Episode

September 15, 2020 / Podcast, FlightDeck, History, Space, NASA, Storytelling, Space Shuttle, Exhibits, aerospace

“How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?” This is a question we hear often at the Museum, asked by people young and old from all around the world. Host Sean Mobley enlisted Museum of Flight expert Brenda Mandt, one of the masterminds behind the Museum’s NASA Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer Tours, to investigate how humans carry out this universal body function in space. In this first of two episodes, Brenda shares about the early tests and solutions developed for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. They were messy and uncomfortable!

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Youngest

June 30, 2020 / Podcast, FlightDeck, History, NASA, Storytelling, Blue Origin, Exhibits, aerospace

Located in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, an exhibit space dedicated to modern space exploration, you’ll find the youngest artifact in our collection: An American flag flown to space on the historic Blue Origin New Shepard NS-3 Launch. In today’s episode of the Flight Deck, we’ll take a look at the flag and it’s story, and also learn why stories are at the heart of any museum…and how the stories told in museums have changed over time.

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Riding Rockets

June 2, 2020 / Podcast, FlightDeck, History, NASA, Storytelling, Exhibits, aerospace, rockets

As we continue to prepare for the Museum’s re-opening, and as we simultaneously ramp-up our digital education offerings for students, our podcast team is sad to announce a delay in our “Collections” miniseries, but thrilled to share this interview with retired NASA Astronaut Mike Mullane instead.

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A Needle at the Bottom of the Sea

January 28, 2020 / NASA, Apollo, Space Shuttle, Apollo 11, Engines, Ocean

Undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of man has been stepping foot on the Moon. In 1969, the famous Apollo 11 mission fulfilled this dream. Fast forward to 2013, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos commences an expedition to find the powerful Saturn V F-1 rocket engines that propelled Neil Armstrong into space for the imperative Moon landing. The expedition presented many challenges, for example: with the remains from eight other Apollo missions in the same area, how do you know what part corresponds to which mission?

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The Astronaut Image

November 21, 2019 / NASA, astronaut, Pete Conrad

Apollo 12 Astronaut Pete Conrad has a lot to live up to. NASA’s idea of the astronaut image meant that the astronauts needed to conform to specific ideas of the ideal American.

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Back to Earth: The Apollo 11 Astronauts Tour After the Moon Landing

August 31, 2019 / NASA, Moon, Apollo 11, Nixon

After the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon, they embarked on an equally fascinating journey: a global goodwill press tour in Air Force One. Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony explains the importance of the tour and how the astronauts’ lives changed post-Moon landing.

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