I have to say, working in a museum is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It’s amazing–one minute I’m in the Communications Office, and a few minutes later, I’ve taken an elevator and am among the throngs of people enjoying the museum. Air and Space is lauded as the most visited museum in the world, and based on the number of people I’ve seen enjoying the exhibits, I certainly can agree with that. It doesn’t quite seem real, working in a place that people flock to every day. It’s pretty amazing, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it–and I don’t know if I even want to!
Over the past week I have assisted in finding video clips and photos; have sat in on meetings about new exhibits, special events, press conferences and social media; and have learned a lot about how a communications office works. Below are a few stories from my first week:
Smithsonian’s Rich History in Aeronautics
During my first few days, I spent time learning about the history of NASM, and I learned just how involved the Smithsonian was in the quest to get man into the sky. Smithsonian Secretaries, since the beginning of the Smithsonian Institution, have been involved in various projects to do with aeronautics, and aircraft were some of the first artifacts the Smithsonian Institution collected–even before they opened the National Air and Space Museum. Also interesting is that the NASM building on the National Mall was built on the site from which Thaddeus Lowe demonstrated his Hot Air Balloon to President Lincoln and sent the first telegraph from the sky. I had no idea how much history there was between the Smithsonian and aeronautics, but it explains why they secured so many amazing artifacts in the history of aviation and space flight.
Tiga Dua Satu
On the first day of my internship, “Voice of America Indonesia” was filming in the museum for a video they were producing, and I tagged along on the shoot. It was a great introduction to the museum because they filmed in a number of the museums most impressive exhibits. I was able to learn about a lot of the amazing artifacts they have on display, including one of Amelia Earhart’s planes, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Flyer. I’m not entirely sure what they were saying in the video because they were speaking Indonesian, but I did learn how to count down from three—Tiga, Dua, Satu.
They Think I’m Famous
On Thursday I went along to another filming in the museum, this one a lot shorter. RTAmerica was doing a news report on drones, and they came by the museum to film in front of the drones that were on display. My co-worker and I stood on either side of them to prevent people from walking through the shot, but that didn’t stop people from gathering around to watch. For some reason, any time people see a camera and a light, they assume it must be a high profile film crew. It wasn’t but I can understand why people gathered around. The man who was on camera, kept looking at me a bit embarrassed and saying “They think I’m someone famous” and they definitely did. I’ve learned that NASM is a very popular place for people to film, especially because it’s regarded as one of the foremost experts in aviation and space travel, and because you have to apply to film in the museum, they must be accompanied by an employee, which is why I was there.
Enjoying What the Museum Has to Offer
As I said above, the museum is a fun place to work. On Thursday, when I had a bit of time I got to go down and see an IMAX movie in the Lockheed Martin Theatre. It was called “The Dream Is Alive” and one of my co-workers, who used to work for the theatre, told me it was the first movie filmed in space, and that each time an IMAX crew joined a mission they were only able to hold 8 minutes of footage! In addition, there are around 25 interns at the National Mall site and I’m always running into one of them. On Friday, during our lunch hour we went down to see the Summer Concert Series, which occurs every Friday in one of the exhibit halls and features military bands. This week it was Max Impact, the United States Air Force rock band and they certainly did rock. It was an amazing way to spend lunch!
Well that’s it for now. Next week I’ll let you know about my main project at my internship this summer, and I’m pretty excited about it.