Hear a first-hand account of life at the International Space Station from NASA astronaut Gregory H. Johnson at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22. Johnson was pilot of STS-123 Endeavour on March 11-26, 2008, which completed both launch and landing at night. It was the 25th Shuttle/Station assembly mission and was accomplished in 250 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 6 million miles in 15 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes and 54 seconds. Click here to learn more about this event.
State-of-the-art exhibit to open
'Warrior Airmen' features new technology
A new exhibit in the Cold War Gallery will feature emerging museum technology to engage visitors in the compelling stories of Air Force Airmen in Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom. Sound and lighting effects, videos, interactive displays, dioramas and hundreds of artifacts will make visitors feel as if they are part of the storyline. Watch the museum's Web site for up-to-date information about this exciting new exhibit, opening to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 13.
Family event set for Jan. 17
Learn about boomerangs this month
The museum's popular monthly Family Day is scheduled for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17. This month, celebrate Australia Day by learning about one of the first known uses of the airfoil: boomerangs! Also, special guest Gary Broadbent will talk about the history, craft and competition of boomerangs, and visitors can participate in aviation-related demonstration stations, storytime and an Aerospace Adventure. Activities are located throughout the museum's galleries. Click here for more Family Day information.
Featured exhibit of the month
Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV
The museum's MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopter (S/N 68-10357) is now on display in the Cold War Gallery, next to the new Warrior Airmen exhibit. This aircraft carried the command element during the mission to rescue American prisoners of war from the Son Tay prison camp near Hanoi, North Vietnam, in 1970. After Vietnam, it flew in many more combat engagements including Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. After 38 years of service, its final flight was a combat mission in Iraq on March 28, 2008. Click here to learn more about the MH-53M.
On this date, the USAF's XC-142A Verticle/Short Takeoff and Landing (VSTOL) transport aircraft made a perfect first transition flight, taking off like a helicopter, adjusting its wings for conventional flight, and making a vertical landing. The only remaining XC-142A (one of five built) is on display in the Research and Development Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Information provided by Air Force Historical Studies Office)