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Happy 75th Birthday, Civil Air Patrol!

Today in 1941: The Civil Air Patrol was established. It became an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force in 1948 with three main missions: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.
Pictured here is the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Civil Air Patrol in 2014 for service during World War II: [ S.si.edu Link ]
The United States Air Force Band followed up their festive flash mob by getting us all involved in the #MannequinChallenge. Check it out!
Today in 2000: Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on mission STS-97 to install the first U.S.-provided solar arrays on the International Space Station. The tape recorder pictured here flew on Endeavour until 2002: [ S.si.edu Link ]

During a mission, this device recorded both voice and data on magnetic tape.
You never know what you'll see at our Museum in Washington, DC! Yesterday, the United States Air Force Band surprised visitors with a festive flash mob. #AFflashmob16
Double your impact! Become a member or renew your membership and your gift will be matched: [ S.si.edu Link ]
Today in 1988: The McDonnell F-4S Phantom II pictured here arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport to join our collection. This plane flew combat air patrols and bombing missions during the Vietnam War: [ S.si.edu Link ]
Are you a college student in northern Virginia with a passion for aerospace, science or education? Apply to join the Explainers Program at our Udvar-Hazy Center! We accept applications on a rolling basis, so get yours in soon! [ S.si.edu Link ]
Today in 1958: NASA officially named the United States' first human spaceflight program Project Mercury. On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space in this Mercury capsule, which he named "Freedom 7" - [ S.si.edu Link ]

"Freedom 7" is on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
How do you “see” something that emits or reflects nothing? Curator David DeVorkin talks black holes in, "Black Hole Friday" - [ S.si.edu Link ]

Image Caption and Credit: M87 in visible light. Courtesy of UCO/Lick Observatory.
Did you enjoy seeing the balloons in today's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? They reminded us of a collector with a passion for balloons - Evelyn Way Kendall. Learn more about how Kendall and her world-class collection of 78 original works of art, almost 450 prints, 117 balloon-themed objects, and a library of over 330 rare aeronautical books and manuscripts: [ S.si.edu Link ]
Happy #Thanksgiving! Astronauts have celebrated Thanksgiving in space since the Skylab missions of the 1970s. While the kinds of food are similar to what you might see on your plate today, that’s where the similarities end: [ S.si.edu Link ]

Image Caption and Credit: This Thanksgiving holiday decoration flew on the International Space Station in 2001. Credit: NASA
While the Spirit of St. Louis was undergoing conservation work, our photographers had a unique opportunity to capture details and angles that are normally not available. These pictures helped us uncover and rediscover stories about this iconic aircraft: [ S.si.edu Link ]
Need something to listen to during your Thanksgiving travels? Discover the story of military forces used during #WWII ... that didn't exist: [ Si.edu Link ]
#sidedoor #podcast
Stardust was the first discovery mission of its kind. Launched in 1999, it was sent to collect samples from Comet Wild 2. When Stardust returned in 2006, scientists found exciting results that expanded our understanding of the universe.

Download our free app GO FLIGHT for more stories like this one and stay connected with us wherever you go! [ S.si.edu Link ]
Today in 1783: Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, the Marquis d'Arlandes, became the first human beings to make a free flight in a Montgolfier hot air balloon. Depicted in this etching, the balloon prepares to lift off from the grounds of the Château de la Muette outside Paris: [ S.si.edu Link ]
NOW! We're live with NASA astronaut Dan Burbank from our Museum in Washington, DC: [ S.si.edu Link ]
Live webcast tonight! NASA astronaut and Coast Guard Captain Daniel C. Burbank has logged 188 days in space and flown more than 2,000 Coast Guard missions. Tune in at 8 pm ET as he presents this year's Vice Adm. Donald D. Engen Flight Jacket Night talk: [ S.si.edu Link ]
Happy 54th Birthday Washington Dulles International Airport!

Today in 1962: President John F. Kennedy officially dedicated Dulles International Airport. Since then, many airplanes and spacecraft on display at our Museum have landed there for delivery to the Smithsonian, including this Boeing 367-80, aka "Dash 80," which landed in 2003: [ S.si.edu Link ]

Can you name a few others?
Today in 1973: Skylab 4 Command Module launched with astronauts Gerald P. Carr, William R. Pogue, and Edward G. Gibson aboard. Skylab 4 was the third and last mission to the U.S. Space Station, Skylab, where the astronauts spent 84 days in orbit. See the Skylab 4 Command Module on display in the "Apollo to the Moon" exhibition at our Museum in Washington, DC: [ S.si.edu Link ]
The 2016 Geography from Space online contest has begun! [ S.si.edu Link ]

Celebrate National Geography Awareness Week by testing your ability to identify geographic features on images taken from space. Enter the contest for a chance to win a prize, but hurry! Contest entry ends at 11:59:59 pm EST tonight.We will run this contest again tomorrow.

Image Caption: In January 2015, the Sally Ride...
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