Smithsonian Smithsonian
Stories About

Smithsonian

The spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago. Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon on July 16, 1969, and Armstrong took his famed "giant leap" five days later. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Claire Harbage/NPR

Of Little Details And Lunar Dust: Preserving Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Spacesuit

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/734031425/742109372" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, stands for a portrait at his office. He will soon become the Smithsonian Institution's new secretary. Shuran Huang/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Shuran Huang/NPR

Lonnie Bunch III Takes Helm Of The Smithsonian: 'I Feel The Weight Of History'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/730795443/731927915" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An artist's rendering of the mass extinction of life that occurred toward the end of the Permian Period, about 250 million years ago. Lynette Cook/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Lynette Cook/Science Source

The 'Great Dying' Nearly Erased Life On Earth. Scientists See Similarities To Today

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/729341362/729737558" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Pierre Comizzoli (right), reproductive physiologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, performs an artificial insemination on giant panda Mei Xiang March 29, 2019. Don Neiffer (left), chief veterinarian at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, performs for the procedure. (Roshan Patel/Smithsonian's National Zoo)/Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute hide caption

toggle caption
(Roshan Patel/Smithsonian's National Zoo)/Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Peruvian dancers perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., in 2015. This year's festival will shrink from 10 days to just two, in part as a result of the partial government shutdown. Molly Riley/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Molly Riley/AP

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to speak to members of the U.S. military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Dec. 26. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

If the current federal government shutdown, which began Dec. 22, continues past Jan. 1, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close, effective Jan. 2. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Ellen Stofan saw her first rocket launch when she was 4 years old. Now, more than 50 years later, she's director of the National Air and Space Museum — the first woman to hold the position. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery hide caption

toggle caption
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery

New Director Of Air And Space Museum Is The First Woman To Hold The Job

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/607076266/607191110" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Craig Byron, a biologist at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., opens a drawer of preserved mammal specimens he found when the department was packing up to move to a new building. Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting hide caption

toggle caption
Grant Blankenship/Georgia Public Broadcasting

Old Animal Specimens May Hold The Key To New Discoveries

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/597740866/602288727" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The village of Igiugig performed a traditional Yupik blessing dance following the reburial of 24 ancestors. Avery Lill/KDLG hide caption

toggle caption
Avery Lill/KDLG

After 87 Years At The Smithsonian, Bones Of Alaska Natives Returned And Reburied

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/554598592/559278041" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lucille Simpson, far right, and her daughter Gwendolyn Norman, both from Detroit, Mich., wait in line to enter the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Cultural on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on May 1. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

A group of men with full glasses proudly pose with their keg of beer in San Francisco, 1895. Underwood Archives/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Underwood Archives/Getty Images

How The Story Of Beer Is The Story Of America

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532250762/535408683" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Apollo 11 capsule in in sore need of restoration, conservation specialists say, if it's to last another 50 years. Even the adhesive that helps holds stuff in place is losing its stickiness, and some objects inside are starting to pop off. Shelby Knowles/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Shelby Knowles/NPR

Moonwalkers' Apollo 11 Capsule Gets Needed Primping For Its Star Turn On Earth

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533830775/534365635" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A section of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., was closed for several hours Wednesday after a noose was discovered in an exhibition. Joe Sohm /Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Joe Sohm /Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images