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Levasseur, Jennifer

Museum Curator

My research focuses on the visual and material culture of human spaceflight examining the artistic, historic, technological, and public memory of astronaut-captured images and equipment as part of the history of exploration. My collections-based research includes human spaceflight cameras and astronaut personal equipment, especially chronographs. space food, and hygiene equipment.

Geographic Focus

Professional Biography

  • Jennifer Levasseur received her BA in history from the University of Michigan in 1999, an MA in American studies from The George Washington University in 2002, and PhD in history at George Mason University in 2014. Her dissertation, Pictures By Proxy: Images of Exploration and the First Decade of Astronaut Photography at NASA, looks at the cultural significance of astronaut photography. Her book, based on that dissertation, Through Astronaut Eyes: Photographing Early Human Spaceflight, was published by Purdue University Press in 2020. She serves as the responsible curator for the Museum's astronaut cameras, chronographs, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and contemporary human spaceflight programs.

    Prior to her work at the National Air and Space Museum, she worked as a historic interpreter at George Washington's Mount Vernon, and did an internship at the National Portrait Gallery's Department of Photography. There, she cataloged photographs acquired through donation and developed strategies for recording portrait information in the museum's electronic database.

    With over 18 years at the Museum, Jennifer has worked on programs including artifact loans, the Museum's annual Mutual Concerns conference, and as a representative for the department on digital and other exhibition projects. Most recently, she curated the exhibit Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity and currently serves as exhibition curator for the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition. She is the lead curator for a new exhibition, At Home in Space, set to open in 2025.