tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 18, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
you might notice there's a small dent in the nozzle of the engine on the back of spaceship one. and that is not damage that was caused by delivering it to the museum or suspending it from the rafters. rather, that buckled in space during its first test flight when the engine ignited and just the heat and the force of the engine ignition buckled the nozz nozzle. for the second flight and the third flight, a different nozzle was used, and they also made some corrections to the ignition sequence so they didn't have that buckling problem again. but when we asked to have spaceship one delivered to us for the national collection, we asked to have it returned to its original configuration from its first flight. the first flight wasn't the
prize-winning flight, but it was the record-breaking flight. and so they went to the trouble to reinstall the dented engine nozzle on it. our next stop will be sky lab, and we're going to look at that because it is one of the original artifacts on display here since before this museum opened. sky lab is so large, it was brought into the museum before the building was closed out. now i'm standing in front of a model of sky lab that's as tall as i am but the real sky lab orbital work station behind me absolutely dwarfs the model and me. it reaches from the floor up into the sky lights of this building, two stories tall. sky lab was the united states first space station, placed in orbit in 1973 and in 1973 and
different nasa astronaut crews spent time aboard it. three men at a time, one group was there for one month. another group for two months, and the third group for three months. the whole point of the sky lab missions was to get some experience in living and working in space. when the apollo program came to an end, there was still some hardware left over. and nasa thought, what can we do with this? we developed this tremendous capability to launch spacecraft all the way to the moon. we still have a couple of powerful rockets on hand. can we repurpose them and do something else? so the decision reached was to take the third stage of the gigantic saturn five rocket that powered the spacecraft away from earth on a trajectory to the moon and turn that into a
a sort of miniature space station that crews could live in while they were getting this experience of living and working in space. the actual element that's behind me is the full cylinder that is marked by this wide white band here. you can see from the cutaway there that it's two stories on the inside. those were two floors where the astronauts could actually live. in the missions to the moon and earth orbit, they had been in spacecraft that were essentially cockpits and had no more room than a sports car. but sky lab was like having a house, it actually had rooms. there was a galley ward room where they could prepare food, meet around a table, eat together. they still were eating out of
plastic bags and tin cans, but at least it was more home like and more sociable. they had sleeping quarters, three bunk areas about the size of closets but each member had a private area to retire for some solitary time and some sleep without being confined to the flight seat in a capsule and most important it had an actual bathroom. it had an actual toilet. in all of the previous missions, the little known dirty secret is that the astronauts were using plastic bags to collect their waste. but finally they had a toilet and didn't have to deal with the mess of taking care of their bodily functions. it had a sink where they could wash up and shave. it even had a shower, it was
essentially a tunnel like sheath that an astronaut pulled up around him and then could use water from a sprayer inside that container, but then the trick after the shower was all of the water had to be wiped off, wiped off the body, wiped off the little enclosure. they finally decided it took -- it was more trouble than it was worth. they would just take sponge baths. but there was also room for them to have an exercise bicycle and to have some experiments set up and then they had a huge attic above the living area where their extra supplies were stored and a lot of the system's elements were there. it was so big that they could run track around the perimeter of it and do tumbling around the perimeter of it, just running
and tumbling across the tops of the lockers. that was for fun but they used that space for serious reasons too and they were testing out a jet backpack that might be used on space walks and they were able to operate that in that attic space that was so commodious. then below their living deck floor, there was the remainder of one of the propellant tanks and that became their big trash can. there was a hatch and they could put their trash through the hatch and it would go down to that lower level. the orbital workshop then was the largest part of the sky lab space station but above it there was an air lock module that enabled them to go outside and service this big observatory the solar observatory, which was a wonderful scientific facility attached to the orbital workshop.
and using the instruments, variety of cameras and detectors on what was called the apollo telescope mount, we got our first really detailed views of activity on the sun. and we understood for the first time how dynamic our sun is and how it's just roiling with activity all the time and spewing out big explosions of matter and it has holes in it and it has storms on it. it was an amazing thing to get this new information through the telescopes on sky lab. then here at the top, one can see the docking port for the apollo command and service module, which was essentially the shuttle craft to bring the astronauts to sky lab and bring them back home again.
this whole thing is 22 feet in diameter. and again, when you think of the ingenuity of turning a stage of a rocket which is basically a big fuel tank into a home that people can live in and provide them with plumbing and comfort and room to move around, a window to look out and enjoy the views of the earth, this was a kind of turning point in our space program. sky lab was the test run for what the next big thing was supposed to be. and from the late 1950s and early 1960s on, planners in the united states had foreseen an eventual space station. in fact, the original plans were to build a space station in earth orbit first and then go to the moon, but president kennedy reversed that and decided to
send the united states to the moon first as part of the cold war competition with the soviet union. in the back of everybody's mind there was still a space station. sky lab was the first step toward what now has become the international space station, a huge new facility in earth orbit. this behemoth behind me is actually the backup sky lab space station. it is flight ready. nasa built two of them in case they wanted to do two sky lab missions or in case there was some hardware problem with the first sky lab orbital workshop. we did make a modification to it. ordinarily we don't modify flight ready hardware but in this case, we cut a passage way two doors into it, and laid down a sort of hallway right through
the middle of this living quarter so people who visit the museum can walk inside sky lab, they can see the living quarters, they can look into the bathroom, they see a mannequin at the table with some food out on the table. the shower is set up there, the exercise bicycle in plain view, they can see the trash air lock right there. if they look up, they can just be wowed by the amount of free space there is. i mentioned that sky lab was occupied in 1973 and '74, the last crew to leave sky lab, buttoned it up and put it in sleep mode with a view towards a future crew possibly coming back. and then nasa got busy developing the shuttle. so what happened to sky lab? well, gradually over time its orbit began to deteriorate
somewhat and started dropping lower and lower. there was an early plan to use the space shuttle to go up and rendezvous with it and boost it back up to a higher altitude so that it could still be available for use. but the shuttle wasn't yet ready to fly. so what happened is after the orbit diminished, nasa had to bring this back in a controlled reentry. in 1979, sky lab was brought back down and it streaked into earth's atmosphere like a meteor and broke up over the indian ocean. and a few pieces fell into parts of australia and were recovered. but fortunately no one was hit, no one was injured, no property was damaged. now i paused here at sky lab because this was still news in 1976 when this museum opened.
people streamed in here literally by the millions that first year. they were thrilled not only to see the old aircraft but to see the new spacecraft, to see what had been happening in space that they had seen on the news and heard about. and sky lab was one of these featured attractions. sky lab was about settling down in space. throughout the 1960s, the impetus had been to get into space, to get into orbit, to get to the moon. after the space race was won, by the united states with the landings on the moon in 1969 through 1972, both the soviet space program and the u.s. space program began to shift gears. so as we built sky lab in the early 1970s, the soviets were
also beginning to develop a space station. in fact, a series of space stati stations. and there was a moment there in the early to mid-1970s when soviet and u.s. tensions abated somewhat, and the two space programs, the two nations, decided to do a cooperative venture in space, and that occurred in 1975. it was a rendezvous and docking in space of an apollo spacecraft from the united states and a y soyux spacecraft from the soviet union, and it was builded as a historic handshake in space because when the two craft docked and opened their hatches to this docking module between them, the american commander and the russian commander came together and shook hands.
at the time, it was hoped this would be the beginning of a new cooperation in space, but that thaw didn't last long, so really tho throughout the latter 1970s, 1980s, the u.s. went on with developing the space shuttle. the soviets went on with developing the series of space stations and then a much larger space station. and it wasinate until the collapse of the soviet union in about 1992 that another opportunity arose to have a cooperative relationship in space. at that point, the u.s. and its international partners, europe, japan, and canada, invited russia, the new russia, into partnership on the international space station. and since then, our activities in space have been carried out on a cooperative basis.
now we're in the moving beyond earth gallery. this is where we treat human space flight in the era of the space shuttle and the international space station. basically, everything that's depicted in this gallery happens since the museum opened in 1976. in fact, in that year, the first space shuttle, the test vehicle enterprise made its debut, and it was greeted as a revolution in spacecraft design. this was the first spacecraft to look like an airplane. the first reusable spacecraft that would be able to return to earth, land, be serviced, and fly again. and really, the space shuttle era is all about practical uses of space. practical access to space. practical benefits from space. the distinctive feature of the
space shuttle was that it was a reusable spacecraft, and by being reuseable, it was supposed to be more economical and more readily used for routine space flight. in fact, early on, the planners and designers thought it might operate as regularly as an aircraft in service. it didn't work out that way. it turns out even though it was a reusable craft, it was in many ways an experimental craft. it was a very complicated and sophisticated spacecraft. now, i'm standing in front of one of the distinctive features of the space shuttle, which is one of the three main engines that powered the craft into orbit. these are reusable liquid propellant engines that had not been done before. they operate with a greater degree of efficiency and reliability than any other rocket engine had done before.
the space shuttle main engines were one of the great technical challenges of the space shuttle program and we're fortunate to have one here that was made up for us of parts and components that flew on quite a variety of missions. and both as a whole, it wasn't flown in space. it has flight components on it, so we're very pleased to have that. we do have actually the space shuttle "discovery" on display at our second location near dulles airport. it was delivered to us without main engines. it was delivered only with nozzles because nasa chose to save those engines. they were so highly prized. they chose to save them for possible use on the next launch vehicle. if we're lucky one day we may get one of those, and that would be one that had actually flown
in space. on the wall behind the main engine is a cross section of the other main propulsion element of the shuttle. that's a slice of a solid rocket booster, or it's actually a slice of a model of a solid rocket booster. but in addition to the rocket engines that were physically integrated into the shuttle orbiter, there were these twin solid rocket boosters mounted on the sides of the giant liquid propellant tank. and we commissioned that model of the cross section to show the pattern in that rocket booster where the solid fuel first begins to burn. and it's like a star shape or a snowflake-shaped pattern there. and that increases the efficiency of the fuel burn and produces a tremendous amount of
thrust through the twin solid rocket boosters. they burned out within two minutes of ignition and fell away from the shuttle. the main engines consumed fuel from the external tank for eight and a half minutes, and the tank fell away just before the space shuttle entered orbit. a totally revolutionary way of sending a spacecraft into orbit. and that's really the theme of this whole gallery, is a new way of doing space flight. in the shuttle era, as i mentioned, the shuttle era began in a way in 1976 when this museum opened. the first actual shuttle launch into space was not until 1981, but then for the 30 following years, there were 135 space shuttle missions, all but two of them completely successful.
and the two that failed, of course, were the "challenger" and "columbia." accidents, the 25th shuttle mission, and then 107, in 2003. in talking about the shuttles in this gallery, we do talk about what was revolutionary about it. we also do acknowledge that it was not a perfect technical system. that it didn't perform exactly as planned, and it did result in those two tragedies. we didn't want to gloss over that. we wanted to make the point that doing something revolutionary always entails risk and working with new technologies that are operating at really the far margins of performance adds to that element of risk. at the other hand, the whole
space shuttle system consists of millions of components that had to work perfectly every time. and in most occasions, that's exactly what happened. we have a section in here about the design of the shuttle, the various options that were considered before the final design was settled on, whether to make it a fully reusable vehicle or a partially reusable. partial won out for economic reasons. we also talk about living and working in space on this shuttle. because the shuttle served various purposes. it was a delivery truck. it could carry satellites into orbit. it was a short-term space station, when a laboratory was in the pay load bay, it actually served as a research center in space. it served as a servicing station, as with the hubble
space telescope that astronauts could do repairs in orbit and prolong the life of the observatory there. and then finally, it was a construction site for the international space station. and all of the large modules, all of the solar rays, all of the long tresses that make up the international space station were carried up into space in the pay load bay of the space shuttle. the space shuttle also had a profound impact on the astronaut corps and on our perception of human space flight because up until that point, the astronaut corps had consists entirely of men, and the majority of them were test pilots. many of them also combat pilots who were very experienced in high-altitude flight under extreme conditions. some scientists had been
admitted into the astronaut corps and one of those scientists went to the moon, and three of them served on sky lab. but because the shuttle had a different kind of mission to do research and useful work in space, it needed a crew that was more versatile than just pilots. it needed scientists and engineers to carry out its missions. and once the astronaut corps needed more scientists and engineers, that opened up the pool of eligible candidates to become astronauts. and so in 1978, nasa selected its first astronauts for the space shuttle era. and they chose 35. of those 35, 6 were women, 3 were african-american men, 1 was an asian pacific heritage man, and from that point on, the
shuttle astronaut program was much more diverse. and it became more reflective of who we are as the american people. and in 1983, within the first ten missions, a woman flew in space on the seventh mission, sally ride, and an african american flew in space in the eighth mission. and we have on display in this gallery their flight suits that they presented to the museum after their historic flights. and certainly, sally ride became a hero to girls and women. she was one of six women in the astronaut corps. she happened to be the one chosen to fly first, and so she ended up being the one who got credit for breaking that barrier and became a hero then for the rest of her life. guy bluford had the same effect
on the african-american community. by the time the shuttle program ended in 2011, about 20% of the astronaut corps had been women. about 12% had been african-american. women and african-americans had served in every role. they had been pilots, commanders, space walker, mission scientist. they had demonstrated very well that people who are capable, who have the right skills and the right drive and motivation could be successful astronauts. the last big task for the space shuttle was actually its original task, the task with which it was designed, with that large pay load bay, and that was construction of the international space station. it took about 40 missions to assemble the international space station in orbit.
starting in 1999 and completing in 2011. the space station as it exists now is depicted here in the gallery in a model that we have suspended. it's a 1 to 100 scale model. the actual international space station is the size of a football field, from end zone to end zone and from sideline to si sideline. that gives you a sense of this tremendous technological endeavor, to build something of that size in space. so, we have been in earth orbit for a few minutes. why don't we go to mars? just outside the gallery is biking, the first space craft to land on mars. here we are at viking, the first space craft to land on mars. actually it's one of two to land on mars. this was another thing in the
news at the time that this museum opened in 1976. t to have landed on mars after a number of trials and misses was very exciting. both the russians and the united states had been trying to put a craft onto the surface of mars. this was equipped as a sort of observatory and a sort of laboratory. it had a scoop at the end of a long arm that was going to scoop up some soil near its landing site and dump it into a little container where it would be subjected to some chemistry tests to determine if there were any organic compounds in it or any moisture in it. anything that might have been conducive to life. and in fact, in a very simplified version of things,
the viking lander was going to look for signs of life on mars. that's how the public perceived it. the scientific community was interested in a whole variety of other questions. what was the composition of the rocks? what was the surface environment like? so it had a weather station, it had a variety of instruments. and this was the first chance to really touch and feel the surface soil and the surface rocks on another planetary body other than the moon. tremendously exciting in the beginning of what has become a long history now of returning to mars. each time with more sophisticated instruments. each time to learn more about that neighboring planet which has long occupied people's imaginations as the likeliest
next destination for human exploration. landers like the viking lander opened the door toward that possible eventual human exploration of the planet mars. vikings one and two at their respective landing sites have been dormant now for a number of years. they're just sitting there on the surface of mars, waiting to be rediscovered, either by a rover or by some eventual human explorer. this viking is an exact du duplicate or triplicate of the two that went to mars. this viking lander was kept at the jet propulsion laboratory in california, and during the mission, they used it as a test case to try out any procedures, to do troubleshooting for any problems that they detected with the surface landers on mars. so this lander was really part
of that family. planetary exploration has developed according to a well thought out strategy. and you have to remember that back in the 1960s, when all of this was brand-new, we didn't know exactly where the moon was or exactly where mars or venus was. we knew approximately where they were, but you need to know that much more exactly if you are going to launch a spacecraft from planet earth, which is in motion. the space craft will be in motion, and the planetary destination will be in motion. so there's a lot of calculation that goes into that. and in the early 1960s and mid-1960s, there were a lot of misses. we would shoot something toward the moon, and it would just sail right past or miss it by a long
shot or the soviets would do the same thing, or we would try to land something on the moon and it would crash into it instead. so it was kind of a demolition derby in the 1960s. but that was really the essential first stage, was to start sending craft out to fly by and to increasingly get closer and closer so that you could determine exactly where they were and what the celestial mechanics of space flight really were at an exacting level. so after the fly-by was perfected and the purpose of that was to get a good first look, cameras onboard could send back images, get a sense of what that body was like. then, the next step was to send something to go into orbit around it. again, with cameras and some other instruments to try to determine what is the surface
like. is there an atmosphere? what is it like? what more can we learn by being closer to it and staying in orbit around it? and again, there were some near misses on those orbiters as well. but by the early 1970s, that problem was pretty well solved. so you have fly-bys, then you go into orbit, then you ascend a lander. the next step is to send a rover so that you can learn about not only the immediate landing site where a static craft like viking sits, but you could start ranging out around it and start doing what human beings do, go exploring. extend the range. look around the next hill to see what's there. so the next phase in our exploration of mars has been rovers and our next stop will be to take a look at three
generations of mars rovers. now, we're in the exploring the planets gallery, where we really focus on recent events in planetary exploration. as we learned with viking, the strategy tends to move from having a static lander, which viking was, to having mobile landers. and this is one of my favorite parts of the museum because this is where we display the three rovers that have been doing major research on the planet mars over the last 20 years. the first rover to land and operate successfully on mars was one identical to this one. it was part of the pathfinder mission of 1996, and a little rover named sojourner was put down on the surface of mars, and it operated long beyond its
expected lifetime, exploring around in the vicinity. you can see it has six wheels, and they're a kind of wheel called rocker wheels that will enable it to go over rocks without tipping over. it's about the size of a microwave oven, if you imagined a microwave oven having wheels. it has solar panels on top to keep it powered. it was really a little geologist that was put down on the surface of mars to do some of the kinds of investigations that a human geologist would do. it's equipped with a device to touch up against a rock and determine what chemical elements are in that rock. it had a camera for guidance. it could also pick up information about the ambient environment of mars. so you can think of marie curie is the name of this one. and sojourner as the first
geologist to step foot on mars and to go roaming around so they could explore a broader area. this is actually the back-up to the pathfinder mission. this one could have gone to mars itself. ten years later, after the pathfinder mission, we had another mission that landed a somewhat larger rover on mars. and this is a model of spirit and opportunity. this is an engineering model, though, and isn't really ready to go to mars. you can see the growth since the first rover. this one is more like the size of a golf cart, perhaps. again, it has the special wheels so that it can operate well on the uneven terrain. and it's equipped not only with the solar panels to keep it powered up, but with larger and more sophisticated instruments. it has a robotic arm that
extends out. it has almost a head here at the front, at the top of this long neck. and that's where the cameras are for its movement around, enabling scientists here on earth to see where it's going and to see what it's seeing. and it has various other scientific devices on it, and again, a kind of mars weather station to determine what's the ambient environment like, what is the wind like, what are the temperatures at different times during the martian day. what is it like when a dust storm blows up? and passes through. so again, this is a more capable geologist now that's on the surface of mars. but one that is mimicking some of the capabilities that a human being has. spirit and opportunity were
launched to mars in the year 2004. and opportunity is still operating, still roaming around on mars, sending out good data, again, outliving its life. so now we'll have a look at the third rover that's on the surface of mars. and this one landed in 2012 and is still working today. this is a model of curiosity. curiosity has just grabbed public attention because first of all, it's so big. it's like having a car on mars. and this is the one that had the very dramatic landing sequence where it was dropped from a crane that was descending from the orbital spacecraft. and it was called seven minutes of terror to get it down to the surface of mars without it being damaged.
but it was a very successful landing. and curiosity has been roaming for kilometers on the surface of mars. it's studying planes. it's on the rim of a crater. it's going down into the crater to have a look at what the surface geology is like there. and the main mission of curiosity is to follow the water. scientists have a lot of evidence that at some point in the past mars had a lot of water. and the evidence is in sedimentation on mars and in portions of land that look as if they have been washed over by water which then evaporated. and so the thrust of the curiosity rover is to investigate sites that seem to have had an abundance of water
at some time in the past. once again, this is a surrogate for a human geologist, much larger in scale than the pathfinder and the spirit and opportunity rovers. much sturdier structure. a chassis that really is the size of a compact car. again, a suite of cameras and weather station instruments on board. and this one is also a chemistry lab. there are several devices on here that can do analysis of the chemicals in the soil and in the rocks. it's really being a very exciting mission. and it has no end in sight. i think the public has become very fond of these rovers because they sense that they are surrogates for us and maybe pathfinders for us. they're doing the initial reconnaissance of the surface of
mars so that if in the future humans actually go there, they'll know a lot more about the terrain and also know a lot more about sites that might still harbor moisture, if not actual water. and this pattern replicates what we did when we went to the moon. we started with missions that first flew past the moon. but one of the next things we did is set a lander on the moon just to determine how strong is the soil. can something land there, or will it sink in? if humans are going to land, will they be able to walk on the moon? and i think we're quite confident about mars that humans will be able to move around on the surface of mars very well. the rovers have demonstrated how easy it is to do that. one other thing about the rovers
is they don't operate alone and preprogrammed. there are whole teams here on earth that are charting out their itineraries and scheduling their activities. and when they are working on the mission, in their heads, they are on mars with the rover. and they even wear watches where they set their watch to martian time. the martian day is 24 hours and 39 minutes. so their day is just enough longer than ours that for the people working on earth, each day they start work 39 minutes later. the days creep ahead for them. so when this museum opened in 1976, we were wrapping up a golden age of human exploration with the "apollo" missions to
the moon, and we were launching into the first golden age of planetary exploration with the missions of the 1970s to mars and to the outer planets. we're now in another golden age of planetary exploration, particularly on mars with curiosity rover so actively exploring there. so we're right in the present moment here when we're with the mars rovers. and i wonder what we might see here in 10 years or 20 years as planetary exploration continues, with great success, we hope. and there is much talk about having a human mission to mars by about 2030 or so. if that should happen, that will probably be the stellar attraction in the museum by the time the next major anniversary
rolls around. you can watch this or other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website. we're back live now at the smithsonian national air and space museum where the museum today is celebrating its 40th birthday. it was 40 years ago today that president gerald ford dedicated this museum. in about a half hour, we'll bring you live coverage of the events celebrating that anniversary. in the meantime, we want to hear from you. our phone lines are open. 202-748-8900 for those in the eastern or central time zones. if you live out west, 202-748-8901. send us a tweet at c-span history or join us on facebook at facebook.com/cspanhistory. as we move outside to inside,
one of the displays, and there are so many inside this fabulous museum, is moving beyond earth. and an example of the evolution of america's space shuttle program. and joining us again is valerie neal. we saw you just a moment ago in the tape portion. you are the curator, the chair of the space history department here at the museum. and let's talk about the shuttle program. no other country had something like that. >> well, briefly, the soviet union did. they built a craft called buran that mimicked our space shuttle. but it was several years later. they flew one test flight and then retired it. they didn't really have a need for a shuttle craft. but they were very worried about what we might use ours for. and they thought they should have one too, just in case. but really, in the annals of space history, the u.s. space shuttle is unique. it's the only operational craft that's reusable.
it's the only craft that was the size of a cargo freight hauling truck out on the highway or an air freight carrier. it was much more capable than any other spacecraft has been, and very likely any other spacecraft ever will be. >> not enough room here for one of the space shuttles. the enterprise, correct, is at the dulles facility? >> well, we now have "discovery" at our center near dulles airport. we have the space shuttle "enterprise" for a number of years. the prototype space shuttle. but when it came to an end we requested a shuttle and we were fortunate to receive "discovery" the oldest of the space shuttles. and we turned "enterprise" back over to nasa and nasa placed it at the intrepid sea, air, and space museum in new york city. so it has a new home there on an aircraft carrier of all places.
>> you study the space shuttle. so let's go back into history. how was it developed? why was it developed? and what's its impact on america's space exploration? >> well, the space shuttle signaled a turn in america's space program from destination-focused program, let's get to the moon and get there before the russians do. let's put humans on the moon. and once that was done, nasa and the nation reoriented to trying to use space as a place to do useful work. to make space a normal part of what americans do in science and technology. so the philosophy turned from these throwaway vehicles that you use one time, very expensive way to going into space and tried to develop a spacecraft on the model of an airline, a craft that could be flown again and again and again, could carry more passengers and could carry
more cargo into space. and so the space shuttle was a vehicle that would then enable the construction of a space station. and with a space station, people could really begin to live and work off the planet. >> in the display just down the hall, "moving beyond earth," what is your take away? what will people learn and see? >> we hope people learn a couple of things about the space shuttle era. one is that it's harder to get into space and to stay in space and do it economically than anybody ever imagined. it turns out the airline wasn't really a good analogy for how to do space flight. and then the other is that people who work within the space flight industry, the space flight endeavor really keep encountering the same challenges over and over again, finding new
solutions to them. the space entrepreneurs who are working today are all trying to find a less expensive way to go into space. and they're looking at reusable rockets where the rocket itself comes back down and lands so that it can be used again. there also are the same questions about what happens to the human body in space and how do you keep a crew healthy and fit and productively employed in space, particularly as the durations get longer and longer. so same questions, new solutions, new challenges. >> the evolution in part behind you from the mercury and gemini program to the apollo program to the space shuttle program. looking back, all a natural evolution in our space exploration? >> well, it didn't actually have to happen that way. so it's definitely an evolution, but it could have happened in the reverse. and in fact, wernher von braun and some of the early space
pioneers imagined the first step being just to get into orbit and to build a space station and to establish a rhythm of life on a space station and then go to the moon. and then after the moon, then go to mars. and president kennedy kind of flipped the order of things. and so that's why we started with that sequence of vehicles. but had it not been the cold war, had we not been in this competition with the soviet union, it might have been a much different evolution. >> everyone we have talked to here at this museum talks about their job with smiles and enthusiasm and excitement. what's going on here? >> well, it's just a fantastic place to work. it really is. mainly because this museum is beloved by millions of people. and so it's a real privilege to work here at a place that people always say is their favorite museum, or they always say they envy us. but tonight especially everybody
is smiling because we've reached the culmination of a two-year effort to totally renovate our central hall and a make it much more visitor-friendly, make it much more high-tech, and really put the objects on display with some new shine, some new sparkle. and so everybody is excited about that. it's like a debut party tonight. >> and for those of you watching live on c-span3 american history tv, it really is a night at the museum. because it's open all night. so if you're in washington, d.c. on this friday, july 1st, come on down and you'll be here for a few more hours. >> i will indeed. >> and fully staffed until tomorrow morning when it opens again for the public. but the public can come overnight. >> as always, it's free admission as well. so we're hoping to have the museum full all night long. >> and you'll hear more and more people behind me. let's go to mike joining us in virginia. thank you for waiting. go ahead with your question with valerie neal here at the museum.
>> caller: hi, ms. neal. thanks very much for taking my call. hey, i understand that the nro has donated a spy satellite to the museum. what satellite was that, and when do you expect that to go on display? thanks. >> well, i have to say you may have stumped the curator here because i don't know that they've actually donated one yet of the newer versions of spy satellites. but we do have on display here the camera system from the corona, which was one of the earliest spy satellites in the late 1960s and early '70s. it went under a code name of discoverer. but we have that camera on display in the film return bucket as well. we have another satellite called grab and another one called solrad.
and they also were used for secret purposes masquerading under names that led the public to believe that they were simply scientific satellites. so those are the ones that i know of that are small and early. we are hoping some day to have a more recent one and a much larger one. but to my knowledge, that agreement hasn't been reached yet. sorry to disappoint you. >> john glenn, neil armstrong, mike collins the first director of this museum, and many who have died as well in search of space exploration. why were they such pioneers? >> well, the early astronauts were pioneers because space was this great unknown. and people referred to it as the new frontier or the next frontier. but in fact until you get to another planetary body, space is a vacuum. it's filled with harsh radiation. it's a very forbidding and
unfriendly place. and no one knew quite what was going to happen out there. no one knew at the time if the technology would prove to be safe and reliable. they didn't know if the human body could withstand the difference of being in a microgravity environment. they didn't even know such simple things would you be able to see clearly? would you be able to swallow normally. so everything was new. and the fact that these test pilots were already proved and proved to be brave and courageous and bold, they loved flying and they were accustomed to pushing aircraft to their outer limits i think made them heroes. and the fact that we were in this cold war environment, and they became symbolic of americans. they became the knights that were going to do this cold war battle with the other side, with
the soviet union. coincidentally, they all looked like boy scouts, you know, with their crew cuts and their crisp clothing. they just sort of looked like they represented the best of america. and all of those things together i think made them heroes in the eyes of the public. >> you have been here 25, 26 years. among the astronauts who have come through, who have you met? >> well, i've been fortunate to meet a number of the space shuttle astronauts. because that's the particular period of time i work in. but just two weeks ago we had michael collins here, the first time he has been here in a few years. our original director. and we've met buzz aldrin, neil armstrong, john glenn, scott carpenter, pete conrad used to come here. owen garriott back from the early period, john young and the
bob cripin the first crew from the first space shuttle mission. eileen collins has been here and pam melbourne, the two commanders of the shuttle mission. and again in may, we had astronauts who had just returned from the international space station. so whenever they come to washington, they like to come here too. many of them spent hours here when they were children. and they say that this museum was partly responsible for their love of aviation and their passion to become astronauts. >> let me just make the point, for those of you listening on c-span radio, of course watching on c-span3's american history tv, we are live at the national air and space museum in washington, d.c. our next caller is john joining us from new hampshire with valerie neal. go ahead, please. >> good evening. i just want to ask if you're going to show the "uss
enterprise" at all during the programming. i know other people involved in the restoration. and i've been looking forward to seeing it. also, i want to thank the national air and space museum for preserving human history for future generations. i see lots of planes i used to work on there. so again, thank you very much. >> thank you. the starship enterprise which actually never flew. >> right. though it appeared to fly. and you asked whether we'll be showing it here at the museum, certainly, and i assume c-span will be showing it also. it is on display here tonight, and will be on display here for the foreseeable future. i mean possibly forever. i don't think we will renovate this hall again for another 20 years or so. so you have a good chance to see it. it has been very carefully restored to look exactly as it looked in 1969, i think.
at the time of the episode of "the trouble with tribbles," which was a key turning point in the history of that show and the history of that model. and it has been very carefully wired up with l.e.d. lights. and three times a day on the hours of 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00, the lights are activated and you can enjoy seeing "enterprise" as it appears on screen with flashing lights in red and green and white. see all the windows. it's quite a striking sight. i hope you'll come down and see it. >> what did gene roddenberry have in mind when we developed "star trek"? and 40, 45 years later, we're still talking about it. initially it wasn't that popular. >> exactly. it wasn't that popular to begin with. but it had a very devoted fan club early on, a very devoted audience.
but he really wanted to do a kind of mythical show set in space, but he wanted to deal with contemporary issues. and that's what made it so interesting that almost every story was a kind of veiled reference to something that was going on in the world around us, whether it was cold war, antagonisms, the conflict in vietnam, women's rights, racial tensions in the united states, conflicts between science and the humanities, conflicts between liberal and conservative points of view. and so he was drawing all his subject matter from the present, but then projecting it out into the future. and that gave people a new lens to look at current affairs. >> we are about 15 minutes away from the ceremony that will take place not far from where we're
at outside at 8:30 eastern time. let's go to tim joining us in iowa. thanks for your call. go ahead with your question. >> caller: hello. hello? >> good evening. >> hello, good evening. >> caller: good evening. i know that the museum only has so much space. how many artifacts are kept in storage? and how do you store them? >> oh, that's a great question. all together the museum has about 50,000 artifacts that range in size from full aircraft and spacecraft to small things that you can hold in the palm of your hand, things like mission patches or lapel pins or medals and medallions that people in the military services wear. we have -- i believe we have about 20% of our collection on display in the museum here on the mall.
another 20% of our collection on display near dulles airport in our second facility, which is called the udvar-hazy center. and another 20% that is out on loans in museums around the country and even abroad. and the objects that are in storage are in two locations right now. one in maryland and one out at the udvar-hazy center near dulles airport that is state-of-the-art storage. it's beautiful, air conditioned, brand-new storage facility where things are packed in boxes and on shelves and in very good climate controlled conditions. the place in maryland has been our storage site since oh, the 1940s. and it's in need of being vacated. and that's what we are doing quite gradually is moving things from maryland to the new
facility in virginia. just recently, we completed the move of all of our aircraft engines. before that we moved some of the most fragile objects, our leather and fur collection. and you might not think the air and space museum would not have much fur, but a lot of those early aviation jackets and caps were fur-lined. so we're taking categories of objects from the old facility to the new facility. and before long, we're afraid the new facility will be full again. and we'll have to build more storage space. >> born in arkansas. where did you study all of this? >> i studied space history by doing it, really. not by studying it in college or in graduate school. but i had the good fortune to work with nasa throughout the 1980s. and that was the dawn of the space shuttle era. and i was working with
scientists and engineers who were involved in those early shuttle missions up to the "challenger" tragedy. so there were six years there of space flight, preparing for missions, executing missions. so i really learned space history on the job. other than the fact that i was a child in the 1960s and i was fascinated with alan shepard and john glenn. i remember like everybody who was alive then remembers exactly where i was the night we landed on the moon. >> july 1969. >> exactly. so it was part of my cultural background, but it wasn't at all what i thought i would make my career in. and that really became a matter of serendipity, of kind of being in the right place at the right time. i'm not an engineer. i'm not a scientist. i'm a historian and a writer. >> you mention maryland.
our next call can be appropriately, from andrews air force base not too far away. patrick, you are on the air. are you in the air force? what do you do at andrews air force base? >> caller: i'm in the security forces. >> thank you. go ahead with your question. >> caller: all right. my question is was the landing of the reusable spacex, does the smithsonian plan on getting any and displaying at any of the museums? >> you know, i couldn't hear the question, patrick. if you could repeat it one more time there. >> is a lot of noise behind us. >> caller: i said with the landing of the spacex rocket, does the smithsonian plan on getting any of those rockets and displaying them at the museum? >> thank you. the spacex rocket. >> yes, yes. as a matter of fact, we have been watching spacex with a great deal of interest, and also blue origin. and we have opened a conversation with spacex not yet to acquire an entire rocket, but
we're very much interested in acquiring one of the engines that has been used. and then as we watch their history, as they move into a more frequent pace of operations and evolve their technology, we're going to be watching that. and i think we'll eventually bring something larger into the museum. but right now we think an engine would be a perfect acquisition. >> why mars? and will we see that? >> well, mars has been on the horizon for as long as people have been dreaming of space flight. i think it's the planet that is most familiar to people, the one that seems most like earth, even though it's very much different from earth. and it's just far enough away to be this beckoning challenge. nasa is gearing up for a mission to mars in terms of the
technology they're developing and the astronauts they're recruiting. but they don't yet have an approved mandate to go to mars. and that's really a matter of political will on the part of the congress, the president, and the american people. i would say for the last decade there has been interest in going to mars eventually, but there has not yet been a successful program that has caught on and gained the political commitment that will be required. it's going to be an expensive endeavor. it probably will need to be done internationally so that the costs can be borne by various economies, various countries. and also just to involve other people, other nations who want to be part of space faring. the international space station is kind of the proof test of whether a major endeavor like that can be carried out
internationally. >> well, from your vantage point, you're a historian, you're a researcher. your focus is the space shuttle program. but why space in general? why should we spend the billions of dollars to continue these type of programs? >> well, the arguments for going into space and staying in space and spending that money in space are varied. and they have to do with intangible reasons as well as very practical reasons. had we not ventured out into space, we would not be living the modern life we're living. we are so dependent now on satellites for almost everything we do in the world of communications, navigation, weather forecasting. from the research that scientists are doing in space, we've had a number of breakthroughs and benefits that have accrued to our knowledge of the practice of medicine or the understanding of how the body
malfunctions. more esthetically and intangibly, it's one of those questions of, well, it's there, and we want to go wherever we think we can go. but i think the big misunderstanding is that we're spending fortunes going into space or doing things in space. if you look at absolute dollars, that seems like a lot of money. but if you look at the pie chart of how the united states spends its money, its public money, that's not even a sliver on that pie chart. it's such a small amount out of everything that we spend for -- human health and welfare, education, national security, and all of the social benefits, social programs we have like social security, medicare, medicaid.
so in absolute dollars it sounds like a lot, but out of the whole menu of things that a government can do, it's one of the smallest things that the u.s. does. >> and donald is next. he is joining us from florida. go ahead, donald. >> caller: i'm a knnuclear weaps instructor in the early '60s. reentry vehicles mark ii which is solid copper, mark iii, iv, v, vi. that's the end of it but i wonder if they have any black numbers with the nuclear weapons with it. mark a nine-ton nuclear weapon. >> we have a very early reentry vehicle. it's on display right behind me. we have a minuteman three intercontinental ballistic missile on display, and we also have a pershing intermediate range nuclear missile. >> right over there?
is that over there? >> the green, yes. the green one with the conical top is our minuteman iii. we have a soviet ss-20 intermediate range nuclear missile as well. the reentry canisters, the reentry vehicles are still on those. but they're empty, of course. any weapons and the electronics inside those have all been removed. >> karen, you're next, joining us from pennsylvania. good evening. >> caller: hi. good evening, valerie. happy 40th anniversary. >> thank you. >> caller: i just have a simple question. i know when they first opened the hazy center, you could actually get a shuttle from the air and space museum down to there. are they still offering that? >> we are no longer offering a shuttle bus service between the downtown location in washington and the udvar-hazy center.
but the metro center has been extended out to reston, virginia. and there is a shuttle bus that you can catch at the end of the line, the silver line metro. or you can catch a shuttle bus at dulles international airport. and it makes a quicker trip. you're less affected by traffic if you ride the metro and that shuttle bus than if you take a shuttle from downtown washington. so it's easier, and it will get easier yet when the silver line is completed all the way out to the airport. >> my final question is somebody who has spent so much time here, what has intrigued you the most? what is most interesting to you on display that the public can see? >> oh, gee, that is a hard question because we have relationships with every object here. i would say that one of the intriguing things to me is on display in our space race area just behind me.
and we have two slide rules. a slide rule that belonged to wernher von braun, who was the father of rocketry here in the united states. the father of the saturn v launch vehicle. and a slide rule used by his counterpart in the soviet union, sergei korolev who was the father of their cold war space program. and they're exactly the same. they're both made by the same manufacturer in germany. and to me, those objects that were held in the hands of two very influential men working on opposite sides of the globe, working against each other but using the very same tool to solve the very same problems puts a human face on the space race to me. and i like the human scale objects that give you some sense of who the people are and how they accomplished these tremendous feats.
these great vehicles wouldn't have existed without hundreds if not thousands of people using their hands and their brains to bring them into being. >> we need to come back. we've only scratched the surface. valerie neal, thank you very much for your time here at the national air and space museum. we appreciate it. >> sure, it's a pleasure. >> and general jack dailey is the person who began our coverage. he will kick off the 40th anniversary celebration. we're going to take you back outside. we'll also hear from mike collins in a video presentation, former astronaut and first director of this museum as it celebrates its 40th birthday. american history tv airs on c-span3 every weekend telling the american story through events, interviews and visits to historic locations. this month american history dv tv is in prime time. lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the
country to hear lectures by top history professors. american artifacts takes a look at treasures at u.s. historic sites, museums and archives. reel america revealing the 20th century through archival films and news reels. the civil war where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reconstruction. and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in prime time and every weekend on miles an hour history tv on c-span3. american history tv continues friday during this congressional recess with a look at some of our american artifacts programs. at 8:00 eastern, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell takes you on a tour of his suite in the u.s. capitol. then a look at an exhibit of african-americans in congress in the 19th century. also, political cartoonist nina allender and a library of congress and museum exhibit on
the life of jacob reese. coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, as the national park service prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, we'll take a look at the development of california's national and state parks. saturday at 10:00 eastern -- the lands of the giants documents the efforts of the civilian conservation corps and daily life in the work camps. the conservation corps boys make everything from heavy bridge timbers to park signs. >> sunday morning at 8:00, a panel of scholars examines the musical "hamilton," the history that is depicted in the musical and the relationship between
academic history and the history portrayed in popular culture. then at 10:00, on "road to the white house rewind," incumbent president bill clinton and former kansas senator bob dole face off in their first debate of the 1996 presidential campaign. >> the bottom line is we are the strongest nation in the world. we provide the leadership and we're going to have to continue to provide the leadership. but let's do it on our terms, when our interests are involved, and not when somebody blows the whistle at the united nations. >> i believe the evidence is that our deployments have been successful in haiti, in boz knee with bosnia. when we moved to threaten saddam hussein's invasion of kuwait. when i sent the fleet into the taiwan straits, when we worked hard to end the north korean nuclear threat. i believe the united states is at peace tonight, in part, because of the discipline, careful, effective deployment of our military resources. at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts, we'll take a
tour of arlington house with national park service ranger matthew penrod. built by george washington's step grandson, it was the home of robert e. lee who had married into the family. >> he declared this house a federalist house. this was to represent all the beliefs and ideals of george washington, and that included, once again, the idea that this nation would exist forever and that no state had a right to leave it. so how ironic is it that that man's daughter would marry robert e. lee who became the great confederate general and perhaps the man who came closest than any other man in history to destroying the nation that was created in the american revolution. >> for our complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. the smithsonian national air and space museum in washington,
d.c. celebrated its 40th anniversary on friday, july 1st. american history tv was there and next we'll show you the museum's signature event marking the occasion. speakers include the museum's director, general jack dailey, plus a taped message from apollo 11 astronaut michael collins. this is just over a half-hour. you are looking at a live picture inside the air and space museum located on the national mall in d.c. today marking 40 years since president gerald ford was on hand in 1976 to dedicate this museum. together more than 8 million visitors come here combined
making these two museums the most popular in the u.s. we'll be live during the next 2 1/2 hours leading up to our coverage of the museum's 40th anniversary celebration. we'll take a look at some of the one of a kind artifacts located here and a chance for you to call in and share your comments with the curators, the people who acquire and manage the collection. in fact, here are the phone numbers if you live in the eastern or central time zones. 202-748-8900. for those in mountain and pacific, 202-748-8901. send us a tweet @cspan history or join us on facebook at facebook.com/c-span. first we are joined here by general jack dailey. he is the man in charge of this museum. you've been here 17 years. this is a big night for you. >> this is a very big night and one we've been looking to for quite a while. >> as we stand here in this iconic space, so many people
have come here over the years, 320 million since it opened in 1976. give us the history. why was this designed and developed in the first place? >> well, the smithsonian has the largest and most diverse collection of air and space artifacts in the world. the problem of course is how to display them because they are quite large. most of them. the collection was put together by dr. paul garber and general hap arnold after world war ii is where the majority of the airplanes were acquired. but there was no place to display them. we had them down in the arts and industry building and we had what they call a tin shed out on the mall for years. but this museum was then approved in 1947 and it then became a real reality in 1976. so long span in there. because there was actually some concern as to whether a museum that dealt with only air and space art facts would be of interest to the public. that concern was alleviated
very quickly because we got the first million visitors within the first month of the opening. so and ten million in that first year. we've averaged about nine million since then. >> president gerald ford called this a state of the art building. it was built back then at a cost of $41 million. and now you have embarked on a massive renovation campaign. let's look at the numbers, according to the "washington post," $726 million for the construction and storage. this would be federal government taxpayer dollars. another $250 million in private funding. so basically close to a billion dollars to refurbish this facility. >> that's correct. it's a situation where we have discovered some things from an engineering standpoint as we did the analysis to get ready for the renovation that has added to essentially we're going to have to replace everything in the building. all of the air conditioning, plumbing, electricity. that was all planned. but it was not planned to have to replace the stone on the
outside. it's been determined it is not reusable. >> i noticed coming in very thin stone and a lot of it is cracking. >> it is. that was exactly the problem. it was thinner than it should have been. people didn't know that back in those days but it's an inch and a quarter. the national gallery across the mall with the same stone is three inches in width and theirs is all reusable. so it was a low-cost alternative back in those days. >> what is going to happen this evening? what can we expect? >> we're going to open the boeing milestones of flight hall which has been completely redone. essentially that gallery has been here since 1976. some of this -- because it contains the icons of our collection it hasn't changed in terms of the content as much but the displays have been completely revised in terms of the way we deal with the visitors.
>> this is not only a museum, but it is also a research facility. you have a team that is looking at artifacts, combing through the material. what do they do? what's their mission? >> well, actually, the collection is the foundation of all of our research. so we are the world's experts on our collection and as part of that, there are so many stories and so much inspiration that comes just from the information associated with it that we use it as the foundation for our educational programs where we try to inspire young folks to try things that they think they can't do and when we point out the way aviation has been a series of people who didn't know how to do what they were going to to try yet they had the determination, the persistence to stay with it. we say we commemorate, educate and inspire and if we can inspire people to want to know more and that's one of the important parts of what we're doing with our new approach to dealing with the visitors is we want to create a relationship
where we can stay in touch with them after we leave and for people who will never come here to get in touch with us and have a dialogue with us. >> a retired marine corps pilot, you spent time at nasa, you've been here 17 years. are you still as excited today as you were when you came a decade and a half ago? >> i have the best job in the world. yes, i certainly am. >> you say that with a smile. >> and i mean it. i have lots of people watching me to see when i'm going to croak so they can apply for this job. >> we had a tweet from david who says "where are the moon rocks?" >> the moon rocks, there's only one and it's in the main gallery, the milestones of flight hall and it's right adjacent to the moon lander. so -- and that was moved because it used to be next to the front door coming from the north entrance. >> give us a sense of where we're located here at the museum. >> we're in the eastern end of the museum in what's called the space race.
we call it the space hall. this has many of the u.s. and russian space artifacts that were used in the space race. we have the "apollo" soyuz right behind us, the hubble is right behind you. so these are major 22,000 pounds, by the way. so it's a -- when you think about the fact that these things were put into space, in orbit in a case -- this is not the actual hubble. our plan was to recover it and bring it back and display it here. this is the engineering backup for the hubble mission. so the -- it's kind of amazing that everything in here is either the real thing or and authentic engineering and was going to be the backup vehicle. so spacecraft that don't come back, of course, we can't display but we do have -- they're not replica, they were engineering models developed at the same time as the one that's on orbit. >> i'm going to have you turn around because i'm old enough to remember when these splashed
down in the pacific ocean. what is this and how did it return to earth? >> this is the "columbia" command module piloted by general michael collins, the first director of this museum. >> and he's still alive. >> yes, and he was just here last month. the interesting thing about that is it has not been opened since 1970 and we found graffiti inside where he had written on the side of it and so had buzz aldrin and neil armstrong. but the first time it was ever recorded so he talked about it and the experiences that he had. but this is from apollo 11. this is the base camp, so to speak, for the folks that went to the moon. >> what's amazing is how small it is. >> yes, for three people. >> cramped quarters. >> yes. fortunately, they weren't gone that long and two of them were out on vacation for part of the trip.
>> do you have a favorite exhibit? a favorite spot here at the museum? >> well, i do, yes. we have an airplane down in the sea/air gallery called the boeing f-4 b-4. and my father flew that exact airplane the year i was born so it has special meaning to me. >> we are inside the national air and space museum. we'll get to your phone calls. peter is joining us from california. peter, good evening. peter, are you there? we can't hear the call from peter. >> caller: hello? >> go ahead, peter we can hear you. >> caller: i wanted to know if the museum would introduce any articles from the nuclear rocket propulsion type thing in the 1960s and if you have anything
from some of the other programs. >> i think he's on a cell phone so we heard part of it. i think he was talking about nuclear weapons propulsions from the 1960s. >> yes, we do have launch vehicles. both the russian and the u.s. in the milestones of flight gallery. they're part of the original collection and we were provided those during the period where we were securing those launch vehicles, both russia and here. >> we have another call from steve in new york. steve, go ahead, please. >> caller: hello, general. is anybody on the other end there? >> yes, we are. we can hear you, go ahead, steve. >> caller: you know, when columbus sailed for america he didn't know it at the time but
queen isabella funded his expedition and they were looking for known treasure. a short way to the orient to get spices. and he collided with the american continent by accident. and we know for a certainty on the moon and mars there's not a blade of grass, there's not a glass of water, there's not a breath of fresh air. so you know, you risk life and limb to go to a better place. but we have that right here on earth. why would we want to go there? moon or mars? can someone explain that to me? >> thank you for the call. >> caller: well, you mentioned that columbus did not go to where he thought he was going. so he was unsuccessful in his originally planned trip but look at the side benefits that came from that exploration. and that's essentially what
we're doing in space because we don't know what's there or necessarily what the benefits might be, although there are many of these planets and asteroids and other -- are rich with minerals and things that we need. and so they could be mined eventually once we get the techniques. but exploration brings with it the unexpected. but it's necessary because we'll never know what's going on in these other places unless we actually adventure to them. so, yes, that's always an argument, why do we spend this money to do that? and things like going to the moon are important because that's a stepping-off point to go to other places if we can ever get the support to do such things so exploration is part of the american spirit. >> this is an obvious question because as you look around here and see the spacesuits that the astronauts wore and you can see how the technology changed and evolved from the 1950s to the
1990s and today. what is your takeaway as you see the technological changes. >> people come in here and say what are the benefits we get from space and they're standing there with their digital phone, their digital watch, they've got a gps that got them here. we've seen tremendous progress but there's some interesting facts about this in that our moon suits, for example, were made for short term very rough wear and they're not holding up very well on the long term. so we've had to do some serious conservation on them and one of the things we had recently was a kickstarter success program where we got funding to redo not only neil armstrong's suit but also alan shepard's. >> let's talk numbers but let's get the numbers on the screen again. 202-737-00 202-737-00 202-737-00 202-737-0001 we're here with general jack dailey inside the air and space museum, the most popular museum,
part of the smithsonian in washington, d.c., busy week wednesday the july 4 holiday. let's talk about your numbers. how many people work here? what is your operating budget? >> we have 242 part-time, what we call the explainers. colleagues and high school students who work here and are funded by general electric aviation but the important thing is we have 650 volunteers. and they really are the ones that make this place operate. it's a fantastic experience to just -- their enthusiasm and knowledge they bring to this place is the key to our success. the numbers we work on are about $32 million a year in operational costs and we raise about half of that ourselves. the half that we get from the federal government plays for the federal employee salaries. there is no money in there for operations so any program that
we have here we have to get sponsorship from the outside. >> and some of the sounds people might hear, the imax theater is right next to us. one of the changes from 1976. but if you were here in 1976 when gerald ford dedicated this museum and now here today, has it changed significantly or is it quite similar? >> it's very similar, the building hasn't changed but the -- and the artifacts haven't changed that much. there have been additions, hubble is a good example and the "columbia" capsule. but many of these galleries have been here since our open and that's why we're calling it transformation of the galleries, that's the $250 million that will be raised privately. we'll use that money to transform these galleries into a new approach to telling the same story. >> the work will begin when? it will be concluded at what point and will part of the museum stay open? >> i'd like to start with that last part.
we'll stay open the entire time. that's a very important point because when we start this construction it's going to look like we're being completely demolished because of the cladding coming off the sides and so forth but we are going to stay open because people have made plans to come here for years and we don't want to disappoint them. we'll keep the major icons of the collection available so they can see it when they come in and we're under way now. we're at a 35% design on the building revitalization and it will take about six and a half years once we get into full operation. >> we're also joined by our radio listeners on c-span radio and we're talking to general jack dailey inside the national air and space museum. we have a call from dean in arkansas. thanks for being with us, you're on c-span 3's american history tv. go ahead. >> caller: how y'all doing? >> we're fine, dean, thank you. >> caller: listen, i have a commemorative coin from the
tuskegee airmen. i befriended a gentleman by the name of -- i'm sorry, it's a chicago dodo chapter and i've got a picture that he sent me with a letter from him and i'm just trying to figure out where i can put it that would honor him. in some museum. >> thanks for the call and for that or anyone that has artifact what advice do you give them? >> well, of course, we are interested in any artifacts people may have but we also have a storage sensitivity because we're -- we have more than we can display. we have about -- the smithsonian has 136 million artifacts. and less than 10% of those are on display. so that's a factor. a coin is not a major
consideration in terms of space but it may be something that we already have and we don't take duplicates but in your case we do have a tuskegee airmen display here but on the 24th of september the smithsonian national museum of african-american history and culture will open and they will have -- we just hung a steerman flown by the tuskegee airmen over there in which we have been holding for them. so those are two locations you might want to consider in terms of getting maximum exposure for your coin. >> no room for a space shuttle here which is one of the reasons why you have the national air and space museum at the dulles airport. how did that come about? >> well, only 10% of our collection would fit in this building. we had another 10% on loan around the world but 80% in storage. of course we did have the "enterprise" but that was not until the search started as to where to put the annex to this
building. so when the shuttle "enterprise" was delivered to dulles, that kind of set the stage for the future for us. >> nick is joining us from california. go ahead, please. >> caller: yes, general. i have gone to the air force museum in pensacola and my favorite deal at pensacola was the two rooms where they recovered the sbd and the f-4 out of lake michigan. do you have any plans of having a display similar to that at your museum? >> we have a restoration hangar at the the center at dulles where we restore aircraft. right now we have flak bait, a b-26 that flew more missions than any other bomber in world war ii. but the marine corps museum just restored their sbd in our restoration hand gan.
now that is on display at the marine corps museum down in quantico. g so we won't be putting out a display of an aircraft needing restoration because we're ongoing restorations where people can watch the process. >> i want to go back to something you said earlier. it opened in july 1976, the first month a million visitors. at the dedication ceremony president ford called americans a willingness and even an eagerness to reach for the unknown. my question -- why are we so fascinated with flight? >> with flight or -- >> with aviation, with this museum, with space? >> i think it's exploration. it's the frontier and it still is. it's -- there's always been a -- if you look through our history, one of our new exhibits in this building is going to be called speed and it shows our obsession with going faster in all modes of transportation.
if you think about the wright flyer in 1903, maybe maximum speed of 90 or 100 knots and then 66 years later walking on the moon. >> and that's when president ford made that reference, that in the lifetime of president ford and people in that time they had seen the full span, the full arc. >> but if you think of any other occupation or industry or endeavor that has a learning and performance curve that can match that, you can't find one. it's absolutely amazing and the benefits -- look at the world travel, for example. we can fly across country in a we can fly cross country in a couple hours where it used to take three months to start back in the old days. even took two or three days when we first started doing it by air because they flew by day and took the train at night then flew by day and took the train. so the range/speed payload and safety -- safety is really a major portion of this entire
program. >> we are going to keep you here for a few more minutes then show the audience some of the artifacts and exhibits but let me get a call from branch joining us from oregon. go ahead, branch, you're on the air. >> caller: awesome. very nice to meet you, general. my question for you is a two-part question. one, how many exhibits are actually on display, and what is your favorite exhibit? >> well, we have 22 galleries and the -- probably -- i'm not going to give you a number, but i'll say it's more than 160 actual artifacts. large artifacts. if we count the metals and patches and some other smaller things it gets into the thousands, actually. so -- i mentioned earlier we have a boeing f-4 b-4 that my
father flew back in 1934. the exact airplane that we have on display so that's clearly my favorite. >> look up there and tell me what that is. >> that's a b-1 buzz bomb. the one that was used to bomb london and other places. and, of course, the b-2 is next to it. so we're showing the evolution of rocket-powered devices and that was a pulse jet. they called it a buzz bomb because it would be on/off, on/off. they ran out of gas and dropped wherever they happened to be. >> state-of-the-art back then in the 1940s? >> not only that, if you look at the development of american rocket engines they didn't deev vat blsh deviate from this
very much in our beginnings. >> you had how many missions in vietnam over the years?viate fr our beginnings. >> you had how many missions in vietnam over the years? >> 450. >> what do you remember? >> remember? the -- well, you know, i was a professional marine and when vietnam started my duty was to go fight so it was, i consider myself fortunate to fly that many because not everybody got to stay in the squadron as long as i did. >> we have pat joining us from maryland. pat, go ahead please. >> caller: general dailey, it's a pleasure to speak with you, sir, i'm so impressed with the museum every time i visited. the wide array of exhibits, it's amazing and you cover everything. i'd like you to talk, sir, a little bit about the controversy. who was the first to fly in the aerodrome is at the annex and we see the wright flyer. i'd just like you to take a
stand. who was the first to fly? >> the wright brothers were the first to fly. and we'd be willing to debate that with anyone. there are other claims that have been made -- by the way, all the others that have been made we have investigated thoroughly and the evidence is not there to substantiate those claims. we have two researchers here on our staff, dr. tom crouch and dr. peter jacob. they are the world's leading authorities on the wright brothers and but they are very conscientious in trying to make sure we know the right answers. we are very careful to make sure when we say something, we can prove it. and in this case we can. if i could just say one other thing because this is important. when the wright brothers were successful, they got a patent that essentially said if you fly a manned powered controlled device then you have violated
our patent. well, glen curtis did that very thing. very quickly after he had -- after they had flown successfully. so they sued him. so litigation was a very early part of aviation. and one of the things that came out of this was the smithsonian was also competing. dr. langley who was essentially the chief scientist of the united states, eight days prior to the wright brother's success tried to fly his aerodrome off a hou houseboat here in the potomac. it went right into the water and the press said it had the flying qualities of a handful of mortar. later after dr. langley died his deputy talked to glen curtis and said if we could get this airplane to fly we could declare dr. langley as the father of aviation. so curtis had a lawsuit on him and that would clear him of that
problem. he put 52 modifications on the airplane, including a bigger motor which had 52 horsepower compared to the 50 horsepower the wrights used. and he bounced it down the potomac on pontoons and said "hooray, doctor langley is the father of aviation." well that infuriated orville. he gave his wright flyer to the museum of science in london and it was not until 1937 or so when we formally apologized and said you're right, the wright brothers were the fathers of aviation, the war started and so our -- the icon of our collection spent the war in a tunnel outside of london and we didn't get it back until after the war. so it's kind of interesting to see how some of these things have come around but the wright flier was the first airplane to fly and we can prove it. >> how significant was david mccullough's book on the wright
brothers in terms of the research and identifying what they did and what they meant for america's and the world's flight? >> well, he's a fine writer and maybe the most important part of that is that his books are wildly sold and read and so the word gets out to the public through that means. he did a lot of research with dr. crouch and dr. jacob and actually references them freely in his book. so, yes. that's one of the things about this whole place. is getting the information to people, to spark that interest where they want to know more. so this question is one we welcome because if we can get -- okay, let's figure this out, let somebody try to prove something different on this. so it's -- we're anxious to hear from folks. >> it's clear this still excites you after all these years. >> it really does, yes. >> let's hear from wayne joining us from massachusetts with general jack dailey. >> caller: good evening, general, and semper fi from a former marine, second marine, second recon battalion out of
camp lejeune, north carolina, sir. >> hoorah. >> caller: [ laughter ] i have a question. last year the movie about gary powers being shot down in his u-2 spy plane was a big hit with tom hanks. i understand the remains of that spy plane is still in the former soviet union. what are the possibilities of getting that from the russians so that it can be implemented into the program there at the museum? >> wayne, thank you. >> of course, we have a u-2 on display in this building and -- but i'm not familiar with any efforts to recover the wreckage. that would have been part of a state department negotiation afterwards and, of course, it was an embarrassment to the
country because we denied we were overflying russia at that time. so i know of no plans that -- by the way, we couldn't take it if we got it because we don't have room for it. >> let's go to bill, our last call from new york. go ahead, bill. >> caller: general, thank you for taking my call. i just want to ask you something. my dad used to work for grummond in the '60s and he was an engineer on the lem. do you have a lot of artifacts from the lem? and semper fi, general dailey. >> it's great to have all these marines on the line tonight. i'm not sure i understand, do we have additional artifacts from the lem? was that the question? >> exactly. >> the ones that went to the moon are still there. because the program was cut short it was the reason why we had this equipment available to us. but this one we have on display is configured identically to the
one that went with apollo 11. we do have other artifacts associated with lems, but everything that we have on this is installed. in fact, this is the most complete display we've ever had on this particular artifact. it's been on display for 40 years but now an individual who was actually involved with the original configuration of the lem 4 came in and did the work on this so it's -- we're very pleased with this exhibit and its authenticity. >> if you could look ahead 40 years tonight, what will this facility look like? >> i tell you one thing, it will look better than it does today because it will have all new stone and exhibits and they would now be getting long in the tooth and we'd be looking for more money to redo the whole place. >> general jack dailey, thank you so much for being with us. you have a busy night. we appreciate it. the individual who runs this facility, the most popular museum in the smithsonian.
thanks for your time. >> can i put in a plug? >> absolutely. >> at 8:30 tonight we're going to have an opening ceremony for our new exhibit, the boeing milestones of flight hall and it's right next door to where we are now. and it is open to the public. and we're going to stay open all night. so if you haven't got anything else to do tonight -- even if you do, come on down. because the weather is clearing here. we're going to do it outside. and we'll have a grand time. >> and i'll put a plug for c-span 3 american history tv because we're carrying it live. thanks for being with us. we'll show you around this terrific facility, this museum and some of the artifacts, one-of-a-kind items only here at the air and space museum. behind me you see the wright flier, the world's first airplane. on the morning of december 17, 1903 at 10:35 a.m. orville wright at the controls takes flight in 120 feet. that's the first time a man has entered the air in a fly
ing machine powered by air. at the end of four flights where orville and 30 miles per hour, at an altitude of 30 feet. and they usher in this aerial age. the age of aviation. and how they came to create that moment is very important because not only do the wright brothers invent the airplane, but they invent aeronautical engineering, the processes that are needed to create actual flying machines. so beginning in 1899, wilbur and orville write, wilbur is the older, orville is the younger. they are unmarried. they own a bicycle shop, they run a printing business. they are yankee mechanics. they know tools and mechanical devices and they take that interest and apply it to printing presses and bicycles, and they apply it to the problem of building a flying machine. in 1899 they write the smithsonian institution and ask
for all the literature on flight. they learn about the predecessors, like george kaley, samuel langley, who is going to be the curator of the smithsonian and a competitor. they learn about all the aeronautical engineers. what sets the wright brothers apart is they break the problem down. they have to look at the airplane as a system of systems. looking at propulsion, structures, control, and arrow -- aerodynamics, the science of flight. and so between 1899 and 1902, they start flying gliders. they have -- start with kites, they have their gliders, and by 1902, they have a controllable glider in which they've made this new fundamental contribution called wing warping. rather than using your weight to shift the balance of the actual glider, they actually have a
mechanical system where they can twist the wings. how they come to that conclusion is that the brothers always complimented each other as intellectuals, and so they argued, how are we going to control this airplane, how can we keep it from just flying in a straight line? and it's one day in the bicycle shop that wilbur is talking to a customer and he has an inner tube box for a bicycle tire and he's twisting it as he's talking to this individual. and he sees in his mind's eye, and the wright brothers, all about nonverbal thinking, the mind's eye, envisioning what the actual dimension -- the three dimensional technology is and he says, if we start twisting the wings of our glider, we can control it. and so that's how they come up with these new ideas of what the airplane is. they create the world's first working wind tunnel to actually do the math of previous experimenters like jon smiethen
and they find out that he's wrong with the coefficient on the wings and they rework it to design wings that are capable of creating lift. so, by 1902, they have a working glider where they're flying for up to almost 30 seconds from the dunes of kitty hawk, north carolina, the kill devil hills, in which they've traveled there because it's the one spot in america that has consistent winds as well as isolation so that he can work in peace without distraction. so, through 1902 and 1903, they add the last big part of their airplane. so, they've done the wings, the aerodynamics, they've done the structure, which has been influenced by octave and the pratt trust, which you see in railroad bridges of the 19th century and you look at the control systeming the wing warping. so the last ingredient is the propulsion system and they acknowledge that it's going to be reciprocating piston engine, so they create a horizontal four
cylinder 12 horsepower engine and they know they need that much power to generate the thrust of the propellers, and that's another very specific choice the wright brothers make is that it's going to have propellers on the new flying machine. so how do propellers work? they figure they can go to existing data on ship pro pollers, and that doesn't give them any answers so the same sort of intellectual give and take, the brothers are really going at it, and they realize that a propeller is a rotating wing in a helical path. so they take their wind tunnel data, adapt it to the designing of a propeller, and they design go propellers that are capable of producing up to 70% of that thrust of the 12-horsepower engine. you see the two propellers on the back of the wings, called pusher configuration and they want the propellers to turn in opposite directions, counterr
counterrotating, so taking their knowledge of the working in a shop, you can see one of the chains twisted on the drive system of the flyer, what they called our flyer. and so that last ingredient, the propulsion system, enables the brothers to go to kitty hawk skmt late fall, early winter of 1903 where they start readying their flying program. they have a crash, they're down for a couple of days, but it's december 17, 1903, that they actually fly this airplane that you see behind me. and it's that moment, that reaching of that actual -- getting into the air under the power and looking at all the technology here in terms of, you have your aluminum engine, you have spruce propellers and spruce structural members, you have metal fittings, and you have muslin fabric, pride of the west, according to the brand. and that all comes together in
this system of the airplane that they create. and so, after those four flights, a big wind comes up at kitty hawk, and the flyer tumbles. it's demolished. so they -- but they claim success, they pack it up and go back to dayton, where they're from, and they send a telegram to their father, success four flights and they make the announcement and this is really -- that's the very quiet way of saying that the aerial age has emerged. by 1905, wilbur and orville are flying up to half an hour for long distances and figure eights over huffman prairie outside of dayton, ohio, and so the 03 flyer is forgotten. and it sits in crates. it goes through a flood. and where all the crates have been soaked with water and mud. and then, orville is starting to reassemble the airplane and put it on different displays through the 1920s and in 1926, it goes
to england where it's at the science museum, and during world war ii, it's actually stored west of london during the blitz, during the attacks on england. but it comes to 1948 when orville, with great fanfare, donates the wright flyer to the smithsonian institution and it's been on public display, whether at the old arts and industries building, and the classic tin shed and the opening of the national air and space museum in 1976, the wright flyer went on display, and in 2003 in the centennial of the wright brothers' first flight, this gallery was opened to tell that story of the making of the first airplane and with it, aeronautical engineering. what you see here is the original airplane, the wright flyer, but it has been restored and things have been changed over the years. so, the fabric that you see there is not the original fabric from 1903, but it's actually
been applied in the same sewing methods and construction as the 1903 airplane. so, orville removed the fabric and they made the airplane look better for when it went to england, but in the 1980s, this airplane underwent a restoration, so the spruce structural members, the engine, one of the propellers, that's all original. over in the corner of the gallery is one of the original propellers that you'll see because when the airplane took its tumble, it cracked and split that and broke that propeller. we've just left the wright brothers and the invention of the aerial age gallery and now we're in the world war i gallery and the airplane behind me is a spad 13 and in many ways, this is what the configuration at the french and the rest of the aeronautical community takes what the wright brothers create in 1903 and make it their own.
so this is a 1917 design, and it's the highest performance french fighter of world war i. and what that means is that it can go 130 miles per hour. so, 100 miles an hour faster than a wright flyer, but it's also just a large strut and wire braced airplane just like the wright flyer but it's now in what would be called the tractor configuration where the engine and the propeller are in the front. there's a central fuselage and take note of that french word, fuselage, with two biplane wings, an empanage and you have alaurents, so more french influence. and after the creation of the airplane, the wright brothers bring it to the world, there's some french and other european experimenters that are flying airplanes, but the french really run with it. and they take a lead as well as other nations, but in looking at this airplane, it's the epitome
of that strut and wire brace configuration that the wright brothers create, but it's been improved and enhanced. now, a spad 13 is the product of a designer named louis bechereau and he has designed air racers and a very successful series of spad fighters. the spad vii is very important in terms of air combat over france and the western front during world war i. but the spad xiii reflects this epitome of french high performance fighter design. it has very thin air foils like the wright flyer and that allows it to go very fast. and it's fabric covered, but it's that engine, the hispanosuiza, v 8 engine, so it looks like a round engine but there's actually v-8 engine underneath that cowling and by