National Air and Space Museum – Smithsonian
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is at the National Mall in Washington, DC. It has the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world.
The museum has 22 exhibition galleries. They display hundreds of artifacts including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” and the Apollo 11 command module. Museum has 161,145 square feet of exhibition floor space.
It was established in 1946, as the National Air Museum, and opened its main building in 1976. It is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. Almost all space and aircraft on display are originals or backups to the originals
The collection includes more than 30,000 aviation-related and more than 9,000 space related artifacts.
Other Air & Space Museum Locations:
1. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center displays many more artifacts including the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay and Space Shuttle Discovery.
2. Restoration of its collection is done at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland, MD.
Don’t Miss these Air & Space Museum Attractions:
- Several 4-minute flight simulator rides.
- Journey through space or to natural and manmade wonders of the world at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater.
- Film projected on a five-story-high screen with six-channel digital surround sound.
- 20-minute tour of the universe at the Albert Einstein Planetarium with its high tech dual digital projection system, Sky Vision.
- IMAX movies and the Planetarium
Each of these attractions have different tickets and shows often sell out, so purchase your tickets before viewing the rest of the museum.
Air and Space Museum Gift Shop
The museum’s three-story gift shop is a great place to find memorable souvenirs and gifts. It’s one of the best gift shops in Washington DC, particularly if you are looking for DC Souvenirs. A food court style restaurant serves different varieties. An ideal place to relax when you tired and you will as lot of walking is involved.