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The Hubble Space Telescope: The Agony and the Ecstasy

National Air and Space Museum
Exploring Space Lecture Series Presenter: Robert Smith, professor, University of Alberta Originally Presented: June 30, 2015 The Hubble Space Telescope is the most famous scientific instrument ever built, but its remarkable history has seen numerous ups and downs. Hubble’s operational lifetime includes the agony of its near cancellation before it ever got to the launch pad and the ecstasy of a brilliantly successful servicing mission by shuttle astronauts in 2009. In this lecture, Robert Smith, professor of the History of Science and Technology at the University of Alberta, and author of the definitive history of the Hubble Space Telescope, explores some of the most exciting and telling episodes in this rich history. The Exploring Space lectures are made possible by the generous support of Aerojet Rocketdyne and United Launch Alliance. See more Exploring Space lectures:

Handi-hour Crafting: Origami Planter

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Public Programs Coordinator Gloria Kenyon demonstrates origami for the September 2019 Handi-hour program at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Origami design courtesy of Paper Kawaii.

Declassified: The Air Force's Secret UFO Files

Smithsonian Channel
After WWII, thousands of UFO sightings were reported to the U.S. Air Force, who investigated these cases very seriously. We take a look at one mysterious report from 1949, filed as "Incident 398." From: UFOS DECLASSIFIED: Black Triangles

DesignBoost NYC: Aaron Dignan

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
DesignBoost NYC was a two-day design conference held at Cooper-Hewitt in June 2011. Thirteen speakers specializing in everything from biomechanics to filmmaking addressed the conference's theme, "Design Beyond Design" in this series of short talks.

Episode 5: Shared Democracy

National Museum of American History
In the 1860s and the 2010s, young people created movements that changed the outcomes of elections in significant ways. A club of young Northerners, The Wide Awakes became one of the most influential campaign movements in American history and contributed to the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. In recent elections, youth voters took to the polls and drove election results at all levels. They are part of an enduring tradition of young people participating in and impacting elections. This election year, ask yourself: How will you shape the future? The Young People Shake Up Elections (History Proves It) video series from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History shares 10 stories of young people shaping and changing elections throughout American history. The series, along with additional stories and resources can be found at The Young People Shake Up Elections (History Proves It) video series was made possible by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation│Sue Van.

Episode 3: Civic Action

National Museum of American History
In the 1960s youth activists Rosie Head and José Ángel Gutiérrez went into their communities to activate people to register to vote and get to the polls on election day. They are part of an enduring tradition of young people participating in and impacting elections. This election year, ask yourself: What history are you making? The Young People Shake Up Elections (History Proves It) video series from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History shares 10 stories of young people shaping and changing elections throughout American history. The series, along with additional stories and resources can be found at The Young People Shake Up Elections (History Proves It) video series was made possible by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation│Sue Van.

Under the Restaurant in Crawl Cay

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Short video showing the abundance of fishes and other organisms found under a waterfront restaurant's terrace at Crawl Cay, Bocas del Toro. Video by: Rafael Riosmena and Rachel Collin, Edited by: Rachel Collin For more information about the Bocas del Toro Research Station, see / To follow Bocas del Toro Research Station's activities on Facebook:

Episode 5. The Doctor Is In, A #DeepTime Series.

National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Vertebrate Paleontologist Hans Sues answers audience questions about the geographic reach of dinosaurs; a chicken named Olivia; and his affection for felines. If you have a question for Dr. Sues—about dinosaurs, life, or cats—post them in the comments below!

1976 Gibraltar, Spain

Human Studies Film Archives
1976—Gibraltar: The Rock, Barbary apes, Scenery This film clip is from Thayer Soule's travelogue, "Spain" (1976), archived in the National Anthropological Film Collection (formerly the Human Studies Film Archives) in the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. For more information, view the catalog record: For information on Thayer Soule see SIRIS blog post: ‪

Hossein Sadeghpour, Director, ITAMP, Harvard/Smithsonian Institute

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

A Captain's Decision to Overrule His First Officer Ends in Disaster

Smithsonian Channel
Shortly before its crash on November 14, 1990, the first officer of Alitalia flight 404 attempted to perform a 'go-around,' or a delay in landing. It would have been the correct decision - if the captain hadn't overruled him. From the Series: Air Disasters: Deadly Inclination

Sabotaged by Autopilot

Smithsonian Channel
The high-tech autopilot system on board flight 148 should have made it an especially safe flight; but when they were only minutes from their destination, the computerized system drove them into a mountainside. From: AIR DISASTERS: The Final Blow

Air Disasters - Catastrophe or Cover-Up?

Smithsonian Channel
When the investigation of the Airbus crash leads to pilot Michel Asseline, he's certain they're missing key evidence that would exonerate him. From: AIR DISASTERS: Pilot vs Plane

Is Heavy Baggage or High Altitude to Blame?

Smithsonian Channel
Heavier planes can't fly at higher altitudes where the air is less dense. But the pilot of flight 708 should have known that. From: AIR DISASTERS: The Plane That Flew Too High

What Is "Snarge" and Why Do Scientists Want It?

National Air and Space Museum
Hint: It has to do with birds.

Art and Science Series with Christian Samper

Smithsonian American Art Museum
In conjunction with the exhibition Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow, the American Art Museum presents a lecture series that places the science of climate change within a cultural context. The series invites leading environmental scientists to discuss the problems our planet faces, while experts in cultural fields consider how art can heighten awareness of these issues. Cristián Samper, director, National Museum of Natural History, presents today's lecture.

James Dicke Contemporary Artist Lecture with Fred Wilson

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Artist Fred Wilson explores history, race, and identity through his installations, sculptures, and other art forms. This interdisciplinary work challenges the assumptions of social structures, culture, and conventions of display. Join Wilson as he discusses his work at SAAM’s eighth annual James Dicke Contemporary Lecture honoring SAAM’s former commission chair, James F. Dicke II. Image Credit: PACE Gallery

Can This Pride of Lions Hold Onto Their Buffalo Kill?

Smithsonian Channel
A pride of lions are feasting on a fresh buffalo kill when the roar of a rival group interrupts the proceedings. From the Series: Big Cat Country: Strength in Sisterhood

Why Should You Remember the Alamo?

Smithsonian Channel
Almost a month after 200 Texan rebels were defeated at the Battle of the Alamo, the rebel army got its revenge, earning Texas its independence. From: AERIAL AMERICA: Texas

Luce Unplugged Community Showcase with The Sea Life

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Video from the Luce Unplugged Community Showcase on July 18, 2014. Visitors enjoyed sets by local bands Pygmy Lush and The Sea Life, which were selected with the help of the Washington City Paper's Managing Editor Jonathan L. Fischer. Presented with Washington City Paper. #LuceUnplugged ||

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Video Interviews

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
During the 2011 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Family Day Event, held at the National Museum of American History, a team of ARTLAB+ teens filmed video interviews, asking festival goers about a favorite family recipe or memory from the kitchen. The footage was then compiled and edited by ARTLAB+'s resident video editing intern Lily Cortez. To learn more about ARTLAB+ Production Teams and other programs, visit

Inka Road Symposium 06 - Tawantinsuyu: Andean Empire

National Museum of the American Indian
This special symposium celebrates the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian’s landmark exhibition, The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire, with a fascinating look at the material, political, economic, and religious structures that integrated more than one hundred Native nations and millions of people in the powerful Andean Empire known as the Tawantinsuyu. In this segment, Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University, speaks on "Tawantinsuyu: Andean Empire." Tom Dillehay is Rebecca Webb Wilson University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Religion, and Culture and Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University. Dillehay has carried out numerous archaeological and anthropological projects in Perú, Chile, Argentina, and other South American countries, and in the United States. The recipient of numerous international and national awards for his research, books, and teaching, Dillehay currently directs several interdisciplinary projects focused on long-term human and environmental interaction on the north coast of Perú and on the political and cultural identity of the Mapuche people in Chile. The symposium was recorded at the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 25-26, 2015.

The Great Inka Road: How Saqsaywaman was Constructed

National Museum of the American Indian
Oscar Fernandez, Manager of the Archaeological Park of Saqsaywaman, Cusco, talks about the immense labor required to move, shape, and place the huge stones in the construction Saqsaywaman. Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (, on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018.

8. W. John Kress, Closing Remarks - Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans

Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution's Grand Challenges Consortia hosted a symposium on October 11, 2012 to address the tremendous scope of transformations now occurring on the Earth with profound effects on plants, animals, and natural habitats. Geologists have proposed the term Anthropocene, or "Age of Man", for this new period in the history of the planet. The symposium focused on the arrival and impact of this new era through the lenses of science, history, art, culture, philosophy, and economics, and promoted discussion, debate, and deliberation on these issues of change. Speakers included Charles C. Mann, journalist and author of 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created; Sabine O'Hara, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, & Environmental Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia; Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University; and photographer and filmmaker Chris Jordan. Each of these presentations was followed by responses from an interdisciplinary panel of scholars to foster a wide-ranging discussion of the issues. A summation of the day's discussion was provided by The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth, former President of the United Nations Foundation and former Congressman and Senator from Colorado. For more information on the event, please visit:
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