3D rendering and images of the space shuttle, Discovery. Discovery was the third Space Shuttle orbiter to fly in space. From 1984 to 2012, Discovery flew 39 Earth-orbital missions, spent a total of 365 days in space, and traveled almost 240 million km (150 million mi) —more than the other orbiters.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world.
The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” We continue to honor this mission and invite you to join us in our quest.
The Maya of Mesoamerica are renowned for their precise calendars and their knowledge of astronomy. Through systematic observations conducted over thousands of years, Maya skywatchers developed complex and accurate calendars that continue to mark agricultural and ceremonial cycles today. This lesson is an exploration of the Maya Calendar system and its intricate cycles. Hear the voices of contemporary Maya people as they weave their past and present together, and share with us their living traditions of Maya time.
This Learning Lab explores the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum's design thinking process. Design Thinking is a methodology used to solve complex problems and fosters creative confidence. It allows the problem-solver to pursue multiple ideas, research solutions, make connections, empathize with the end-user, test ideas and improve concepts.