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tv   Open Phones with Jeremy Kinney  CSPAN  January 2, 2017 9:32am-10:05am EST

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levels of experience as well as the importance of that technology so in many ways the museum has grown from a celebration of technology and these important milestones and moments to show how society and culture has been affected as well as how that in reverse has affected the technology itself. this is exciting to talk at least my take on that in terms of sharing that with visitors. >> you can watch this or other american artifacts programs as any time visiting our website cspan.org/history. we are back live outside the smithsonian national air and space museum located along the national mall in washington, d.c. on this date 40-year-old president gerald ford dedicated this museum, the most popular in the smith tone yap. america by air from our earliest days of flight aviation with air
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transportation and mail kacarri s to the jet age of the 1950s through today. space operations and missiles, it's all here. and i want to share an article that was in "the washington post" earlier this week on the spirit of st. louis, one of the iconic planes that charles lindbergh had. it's been in the news because of some of the findings and notes on the plane when it was refurbished back in 1975. jeremy kinney is joining us, the curator. just saw you a moment ago in that taped piece. talk to us about the spirit of st. louis. and some interesting things you found in the last year or so. >> the spirit of st. louis is a true milestone of flight. charles lindbergh makes that epic transatlantic flight in may 1927 and it's always been a signature artifact of the smithsonian, since the building opened in 1976. so this opportunity to redo this gallery, the milestones of flight gallery, looking at this airplane and seeing the elements that are left by the people who made the airplane, the people at
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ryan airlines in san diego, the flags from the tour of europe as well as latin america and the markings of the unit. so you see these people making contact with lindbergh and being part of this great story of aviation in the 1920s. >> you showed us some of the artifacts on display here. your own background, why are you so interested in this area? >> i've always been interested in aviation history. growing up it was all about old airplanes. and i found an opportunity to study history and it was a passion that i had that i was able to cultivate and study and work hard and i ended up at the smithsonian. >> i'm going to ask you what is probably an impossible question. was there a turning point or turning points in america's aviation history? >> we have to look at two eras, the era of the propeller driven airplane up until the end of world war ii. lindbergh is a turning point, really showing that aviation is possible. after that the invention of the jet engine. you see the moment to increase
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the distance, increase the popularity of jet air travel and almost anyone can travel anywhere in the world today as a result of that. >> you get a new display, some new artifacts, a new plane, new flight plan, where does it all go? how do you find space for it all? >> that's always the challenge, the large artifacts, the airplanes, the spacecraft take up a lot of space. we have the national mall building, almost 100 big artifacts here. we have the center out near dulles international airport. and we have a lot of items on loan or in storage. it's always a challenge. but the history of the flight is always developing and evolving. we always have to think about what' the next big object they're going to collect. 202-748-890 is mountain and
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pacific time zones. our guest here is jeremy kinny the curator at the national air and space museum. we're coming to you today because of the importance of today 40 years ago. >> that's right. the opening of the national air and space museum on the mall. this is the first time that a major national museum has been dedicated to the story of air and space. it's an immensely popular activity for people visiting to come to the air and space museum. >> do you have a favorite exhibit? >> for me a favorite exhibit is the one i'm currently working on. the pioneers of flight gallery, barron hilton pioneers of flight is my favorite because of the curtis r3cair racer, i'm passionate about that object, it's a speed object. but i'm working on the new speed gallery opening in a few years as part of our transformation. >> we can't see it right now but behind me is some early computer technology, i say early, 1960s, early 1970s as they're trying to intercept some of the technology
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from space by russia. and it's just fascinating because it's a big bulky computer. we've grown and changed. that is part of the story of aviation as well, isn't it? >> yes, collecting data. there's always a race. there was a race in the 1920s and '30s between europe and the united states. in the cold war that dramatic history of our recent past, you have technology being driven by the need for information, and the technology being driven to compete. who is going to get to the moon first. >> and what about computer technology? >> that's going along for the ride. that's a by-product of the need to push the technology to reach these new challenges. and computer technology is a reflection of that. and in many ways with the miniaturization that you need influences the development of computer technology. >> let's get to some calls. wayne is joining us from georgia. thanks for being with us. go ahead, please. >> caller: thank you, sir. happy july 4th. i was wondering if the movie
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with jimmy stewart was anything like the actual flight of charles lindbergh. >> the billy wilder film which is based on lindbergh's autobiography "the spirit of st. louis" comes out in 1957 is based on that book. and it's a story that follows the book pretty well, but it's also changed for dramatic hollywood effects. for example, the fly that you see in the cabin as lindbergh is crossing the atlantic, that's a cinematic invention. but it's also the story of how he goes through those stages, going back and forth between the flight as well as creating the airplane, that back story, especially as a barn stormer and a mail pilot. that is true and part of the story. so it's a very accurate film. jimmy stewart was a big fan of charles lindbergh and wanted to be in this film. in many ways the accuracy is
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there because stewart and wilder are so passionate about the story of charles lindbergh. >> around the corner a display of amelia earhart, the wright brothers, charles lindbergh but there are others not so well known. who are they? >> aviation is a story of people and communities. and so looking at we have these big names, amelia earhart, charles lindbergh, jimmy doolittle. but you also havent nears shall the entrepreneurs that come out. the curtis racer that you saw on the tour, we knew that jimmy doolittle flew it in the schneider cup competition. but silas is an unknown person from the '20s and '30s but was considered the best pilot in america when he flew that plane but he died young, probably two years later in a crash. so he disappears from history when he would have been as famous and well-known as doolittle. but he died in a plane crash just two years after flying the curtis racer. >> we began our conversation talking about america by air. i wonder if you could take a step back and explain the significance of commercial air
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transportation to the u.s., to the world, to the economy. >> well, you know, this great connection and story between the united states and commercial aviation is there. it's the great distances of the american continent. you know, the 48 states, trying to connect the continent by air drives a lot of the technology in terms of the long distance reliability, the altitude, the speed. that really shapes the technology and becomes a major industry connected between the people who carry mail and cargo and passengers and the people who make the airplanes and that really drives the technology. it really puts the united states on the ground floor of this world aviation industry where the united states is a pre-eminent member of the community. >> born and raised in north carolina where did you go to college and where did you learn about all of this? >> i was an undergraduate, i went to greensboro college but i went to auburn university for my graduate degrees. that was a place you could go and study aerospace history at the graduate level. for me that facilitated my desire to learn more about aviation.
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to study that. i had professors who cultivated that and that enabled me to come to the other center, the smithsonian national and air and space museum where i was a curator since 2000. >> if history is the story of the united states and this is the story of aviation, what is the story here at the museum? >> the story of the air and space museum is to share with visitors from the united states as well as the rest of the world this epic story of how man went into the third dimension and the idea of creating technology and having the vision to create flying machines that could carry people, could carry weapons, but also trigger the imagination and stimulate passion for technology. so this is a history of science and technology museum. it's directly connected to american history, european history and all of those levels are interconnected. but the story of how man overcame the challenge of getting into the air is the primary story of the museum.
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>> as the museum prepares to reopen for an all-night celebration, earlier as you walk through and see young families and young kids look up in awe at these spacecrafts, the lunar module, what do you think when you see the young people look in inspiration and awe? >> i really like to see the connection between visitors and artifacts whether you have a parent and a grandparent or a child showing their parents and grandparents, look at that technology. and look at that capsule, look at that airplane. i read about that in school. i saw that in a movie or i know who this person is. these connections that visitors have, whether it's the wright brothers, the idea of two brothers inventing the technology, the idea of military aviation in world war ii, so many americans have the connection to today as well as commercial aviation, everyone flies, these connections are really exciting to see how people connect with those technologies and see the first of the people who are important
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in the stories being represented in this museum. >> how often do you see a military pilot or a commercial pilot who says, i used to be in one of those. >> a lot. we see that a lot. it's those personal connections that are astounding for me. i came up through an interest in aviation but i really didn't have the personal connection. you say wow, these people flew these objects, they had a connection, operated them. that's amazing to see them. >> do you fly yourself? >> i do not. i saw history as my opportunity to learn about history. i have some other hobbies that i do. >> let's go to mike joining us from delaware. we're live on c-span3's history tv in washington, d.c. 40 years old this weekend. go ahead. >> caller: very interesting. i was there 15 on 20 years ago. i need to get another trip back there. in any event, kind of a two-part question, how do new artifacts get into the museum. do you folks go and look for
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things or do people on the outside want to donate that kind of a thing? and also, i guess, what's on the drawing board now? maybe by way of example you could answer the question by what do you have on the board now that you're trying to get into the museum. >> mike, thanks for the call. first new artifacts. >> it's a great question. it's a story of how the people connect with the museum in their own personal ways. primarily the way the museum has gotten their artifacts is transfers from the national government as well as individuals contacting us. can be a cold call, an e-mail from the website, another curator or staff member. people contact us in a variety of ways to offer their stories to the museum. once a curator identifies the object, we take it to the collections committee, we fill out the paperwork, we have to argue for the artifact. and once it passes muster, it can come into the collection. but there's a full vetting
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between curators, collections personnel, conservators. we discuss and argue for the artifacts. an example of an artifact that's coming on the horizon for us, one of the collections i curate is the air racing. there's a nemesis nxt that we're having come in the fall that's going to go on display. it's the world's fastest airplane that's built from a kit, 400 miles per hour. so it tells the story of individual initiative, high-technology and especially it's produced by an air racing team and pilot and designer. these are the stories that we want to share with the american public and the rest of the world and it's a way that we have to fully vet and justify the technology, the artifacts coming into the museum. >> are there other museums like this elsewhere in the world? >> there are other national museums in the u.s. and the rest
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of the world. we have our national military museums, the national museum of air force, national museum of aviation, seattle museum of flight. but you have a national museums outside of paris. the imperial war museum, the science museum, the rf museum in england. you have these museums that are looking at aviation especially from the national stories of the countries that they're in and they have some pretty impressive artifacts as well in their collection. >> we're talking about the renovations that will be under way over the next six to seven years. when we come back in 2022 or 2023, what's going to change? >> it's going to be a completely changed museum. over 20 major exhibitions. the idea is to really reinterpret, re-present the history of flight. and to do that in ways that really stimulate early 21st century audiences. and so looking at military
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aviation a different way, looking at the development of civilian and commercial aviation, looking at space, the idea of where the planets, what's the idea of earth in our story of human kind. so it's going to be very bold but the idea is to present a new take on aerospace history. and we have this as our courage generation of curators, designs, educators, we're excited about telling those stories. >> let's hear from kevin who is joining us from north carolina. thank you for waiting. go ahead with your question or comment. kevin? >> caller: yes, sir. i was wondering about what kind of a maybe a static display about the b36 and the 47, because they're so large, and your space constraints. do you have any plans of having kind of like a small display of
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the history of those airplanes? >> so kevin was asking about the b -- the consolidated b 36 bomber and the boeing b 47 which are two very important cold war bombers. we don't have examples of those in the collection. the national museum of the u.s. air force does as well as other u.s. air force museums do. we, due to size constraints and the fact that they're covered in other museums where it's an important air force story, we don't have any plans to do anything with those aircraft but you may never know. we may have offered one that we can't pass up. but at this time we haven't collected one for our collection. >> we have a caller from michigan. mike, go ahead, please. mike, go ahead, in michigan. we'll try one more time for mike in michigan if you're there. how many people work with you as a curator? >> it's a team. at the air and space museum in
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terms of we have curators. we have a half dozen in the aeronautics and space history, we have entire team of collections where they work in conservation, collections processing and preservation and restoration. we have a registrar. we have educators. we have designers so it's a pretty large team. so we have about 150 employees i think total on the staff and they all interact in some way. one thing that we've really expanded is this idea of outreach. we've been doing our s.t.e.m. 30 programs, a lot of ways to reach outside the museum to connect with visitors from around the world. >> let's hear from dan who is joining us from kentucky. dan f you're on the air, we'd love to hear from you. go ahead with your question. >> caller: yes. i was wondering -- this is actually a two-part question. i was wondering about what was the fastest the sr71 was ever flown and who flew it.
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>> a little bit of feedback but the fastest it was flown, do you know? >> so as i heard the question is was the sr71 the fastest? it is the fastest airplane with air breathing engines. so the pratt and whitney engines that are installed make it the fastest, the air breathing engine is very key. the fastest man carrying object is the north american x-15 which we saw on the tour, the mock 4 airplane. but the sr71 itself, for example the one we have in our collection, it's a 2,000-mile-per-hour airplane, goes up to 3,000. and its delivery flight to the air and space museum in the early 1990s, it broke an transcontinental speed record in just over two hours. this is a fast plane. one interesting thing about aviation, especially in late 20th century, is that we don't really connect people specifically with that airplane. but we have pilots who flew
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sr-71s that we have as docents that give tours of our museum, such as buzz carpenter. these are the pilots that flew them in the late 20th century as the strategic reconnaissance pilots. >> back to your calls. logan in florida, you're next. go ahead, please. >> caller: hi. i wanted to know what the relationship between scott crossfield and chuck yeager was during the age of trying to break the sound barrier. >> logan, how old are you, by the way? >> caller: huh? >> how old are you, logan? >> caller: i'm 9. >> you're interested in aviation? >> caller: yes. >> you're interested in aviation. thank you for the call. maybe a future curator. you never know. >> they're always welcome. thank you for your question, logan. chuck yeager is the first man to fly the speed of sound. you can see here in the milestones. mile scott crossfield is the pilot
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who flew for north american. we know him best through looking at the fx 16. but the first pilot to fly the f x-15. but in the early '50s it's chuck yeager and scott crossfield dueling on these mock 1, mock 2 records. early 1950s. so they're competitors. and that's one of the interesting and dynamic things about pilots, especially in the 1950s. they're hypercompetitive. they want to see who is the best and really outdo each other. and chuck yeager and scott crossfield are a great example of that. >> if people are interested in studying aviation history, obviously you have done your research at auburn, but where are some of the leading institutions in this country? >> in a lot of ways you can go to a focused program like auburn had or you could go to any first rate graduate school. and you can study history and as part of your theme you can put aviation into the story.
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so we've had through your fellowship program we've had students from yale, princeton, the other ivy league schools. major land grant universities. so you can tailor your history program at the graduate level to fit what you want. in terms of how you want to study it. but it falls down to your own initiative, what you're writing about and how lucky you are in terms of getting the original idea out there. >> send us a tweet at c-span history. this is from one viewer on the spirit of st. louis. the question is before 1976, before the building opened, where was it stored? so the spirit of st. louis came to the smithsonian in 1928 and it was stored on display in the arts and industries building where it was hanging over the traditional oak and glass cases, other objects, not just aviation artifacts. it was there more or less over the years. on display in the arts and industries building, which you can still see today.
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but that was -- in a lot of ways this building was intended to put the spirit of st. louis in that very important spot in the milestones of flight gallery to display it. >> i'm going to have you think about this as we listen to dave from new york. but what questions, what things are unanswered in terms of aviation history. think about that. let's go to dave in new york. go ahead, please. >> caller: just had a question, two questions actually. i visited the museum in 1976 and i remember it very well when it first opened. how have the artifacts -- have any of them degraded over the past 40 years? that's my first question. the second question is what is on your most wanted list as far as things you want to collect? >> those are great questions. thank you. the first question, have objects degraded, you know, in the museum since it opened. >> yes. that's the short answer. and it's just the objects get old and they do break down. and so in terms of -- we take these opportunities like the boeing milestones of flight
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gallery to reassess and address things that have been happening to the artifacts. the spirit of st. louis is a great example. the wright flyer. we've had things that we've taken out that the museum standards of 1970 weren't up to par with the museum standards of today. so we learn a lot of lessons from that. it's constantly evolving, a constant battle to keep the artifacts and safe and stable. >> and yet no shortage of visitors. >> that's correct. no shortage of visitors. >> going to your home state of north carolina, ted is next. go ahead, please. >> caller: good afternoon. first, i want to express my appreciation. i was just at uber-hazy, i happen to be one of the guys who used to fly. it was really kind of neat to watch it. see how it is displayed. you did an outstanding job on that. i was wondering if there's any additional thought about
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continuing some additional history of the coast guard aviation, like hurricane rescues, new orleans rescue, things of that sort. >> we're at the u.s. coast guard aviation centennial this year. it's an exciting opportunity for us to put open a display of the helicopter, in the display case over there at hazy center. so i think as we expand our idea about what constitutes aviation history and especially military history, we will look at how we could incorporate stories like the coast guard in them. i can't speak to if we have any specific plans beyond what we have done this summer. but that's always a dynamic topic. and i have to say that some of our staff members are former coasties and they'll take any chance they can to talk about coast guard aviation and they're very proud of it. >> chris from massachusetts, you're next. thank you for being with us. >> caller: jeremy, hello. can you hear me? >> yes, we can. >> caller: i think the b 42 b
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you have in the museum is pristine, so beautiful. that aircraft was so influential on american aviation, the b-47, a lot of the writings were incorporated from the 234 to the b 47. my question i wanted to ask about, was the 163. does the museum have a 163? >> yes, the 163 comet is a rocket glider and there is one on display in its original condition at the hazy center. you can head out there and see it anytime you like. >> next call is jeff in nevada. thank you for being with us. we're talking to jeremy kinney, the curator here at the national air and space museum in washington, d.c. >> caller: first i would like to say that you probably have the best job on the planet. and my congratulation to you for acquiring it. with the renovation that's coming up here, you say it's going to be what, a five-year thing. are people still going to be
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able to come into the museum and understand, you know, what you have there as you switch things around? >> the goal for the renovation of the museum is to close it in stages. so there will always be a part of the museum that's open so that way visitors can see exhibits, experience the air and space museum on the national mall. and so there's galleries such as speed, earth will be opening and closing as we go along through the successive stages. this will be a phased renovation. there will always be something open. >> jay is next joining us from pennsylvania. go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: i wanted to know about the bell x1 and the man that broke the speed record for sound and how fast was it going. >> so the bell x1 is the
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airplane that first breaks the speed of sound. he's flown by chuck yeager. he's an ace. and he become as test pilot in the high desert of california, what becomes edwards air force base. so the x 1 is the first research airplane. the x 15, i talked about this as this idea, this partnership between the u.s. air force, the national advisory committee for aeronautics today, nasa and bel aircraft. the whole premise of the aircraft is to investigation the super sonic regime. on october 14th, 1947, yaeger flies mock 1, breaking the mythical sound barrier and helps initiate the thinking, the ideas of what becomes the jet age through the '50s and '60s. >> so back to my question to you. what are your questions? what are the unknowns? what answers are you looking for? >> aviation is a very
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interesting topic to be studying right now because in a lot of ways, you know, we've gone through the hundred years. we'll pass that after the flight of wright brothers. many people said the story has been told, it's a mature technology. there is nowhere else you can go with that. what's fascinating to me is what are the next steps and how will that be traced as an historical evolution today. are we watching the first super sonic jet taking flight? are they going to lead to aircraft that will enable you to fly from new york to tokyo in two and a half hours? how are we going to track that are we seeing the technologies and the ideas being formulated now? are we aware of them? that's a big question for me. >> what about private billionaire entrepreneur missions to space? >> that's a major impetus, in aviation history and aerospace history, especially with space x and all that.
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it was to stimulate aviation and promote harmony. between france and the u.s. the mcrobertson race, another prize for flying long distance. so these ideas of entrepreneurs providing funding or building companies with new innovation is part of the idea of pushing the envelope of technology. >> few more minutes. john is next in massachusetts. go ahead, please. >> caller: hello? >> yes, john. go ahead. >> caller: i was at the air and space museum a few weeks ago, actually both of them. i was very impressed with everything that was there. i want to thank everyone for what they've done. my question is will they be expanding at some point the world war ii section that's there? >> it's a great question because world war ii is this major story in aviation that people just draws people to it. the current gallery today, it's
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gallery 205, it is an original gallery from 1976. and it was made by people who flew fighter airplanes in world war ii, people who were in world war ii. so the reference there is that people know what they're seeing. so now we're looking at through this transformation of the museum, we're going to do a new world war ii gallery. we're going to combine the sea, air operations gallery, world war ii, and we're going to provide a larger contextual story of world war ii. the goal is to present for new visitors and here's the scary thing. this gallery open opens in 2023. 2025. 2039 is the 100th anniversary of world war ii. we're thinking about preparing for that. we want to do this story right. we want to tell the stories of people, technologies, events in a way that really gauges all levels of visitors, ages, backgrounds, wherever they come from in the world. >> rick, you get the last call
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in the segment, from wisconsin. good evening. >> caller: my name is rick, calling from madison, wisconsin. i have two comments to make. the first one is i really appreciate your show. i think it's great, especially seeing all of the artifacts that you have. and my question is do you think that there are many items missing from your display, and how many do you think that you have money to purchase over the next few years? >> as part of our professional duties, we have what's called a collections rationale. and it actually lists the objects that we have, discusses why they're important and also says what we need, what are the new objects that we -- what we would take. so it can range from a complete airplane like a boeing b 17 from world war ii to part of an airplane, such as a drop tank.
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so a b 51 mustang used drop tanks to fly to europe in world war ii, a critical element in this story. we do not have a drop tank. we're looking for one. those are the kinds of objects we want to improve our displays as well as to record the story of the technology, the people and the events. >> as general daily pointed out earlier, only a small percentage is here. you have more in storage than you're able to show. >> that's correct. we just have a certain percentage here at the national mall and at the hazy center. but it's quite a few of the artifacts are on loan or in storage. >> jeremy kinney, thank you very much for you time. >> thank you. >> happy 40th birthday. >> thank you very much. >> it's more than aviation, it's also space exploration from moon to mars as we continue our tour inside this museum. each week american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums and historic sites around tou

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