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Smithsonian exhibit explores timekeeping

Courtesy National Air and Space Museum

WASHINGTON — On April 12, the National Air and Space Museum opened its newest exhibit, “Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting From Here to There,” which explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way.

It is organized into five sections: Navigating at Sea, Navigating in the Air, Navigating in Space, Inventing Satellite Navigation and Navigation for Everyone.

The exhibition, a collaboration between the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History, features 144 objects, drawn primarily from the collections of the two museums.

Highlights of the exhibition include a representation of a 19th-century ship from the U.S. Exploring Expedition; the first sea-going marine chronometer made in the United States; the submarine navigation system for the USS Alabama; a TRANSIT navigation satellite; Wiley Post’s airplane, the Winnie Mae; and Stanley, a robotic vehicle that can drive itself.