Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Location: Washington D.C.

Webpage: Smithsonian Museum

General Description: The National Air and Space Museum holds the largest collection of air and space crafts in the world with over 160,000 square feet of floor space and tall enough for the early rockets.  The current museum opened in 1976 and in 2014 saw 6.7 million visitors making it the fifth most popular museum in the world.  In the museum you can see exhibits about the history of commercial aviation in America by Air, the story of human exploration of the moon in Apollo to the Moon, the pioneers of flight in Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight, aviation firsts in Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, the first decades of flight in Early Flight, how astronomical tools are opening up the universe in Explore the Universe, the achievements of planetary explorations in Exploring the Planets, the Golden Age of Flight between the world wars, the four forces of flight in How Things Fly, the evolution of jets in Jet Aviation, the true nature of aerial combat during WWII in Legend, Memory, and the Great War in the Air,  moon exploration in Lunar Exploration Vehicles, the use of unmanned drones in Military UAV, the Space Race between US and USSR, the early flyers in The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age, and World War II Aviation.  There is a lot to see that spans a lot of history for all visitors.

Brochure

Impressions:

1) From the outside you can see that the Air and Space Museum is very large, however, it should be noted that as impressive as it is the Steven Udvar-Hazy Center is over 750,000 square feet which is 5 times larger.  The architecture was chosen to be impressive but not to “stand out too boldly” against the Capitol Building.  In my opinion they failed, as I think the architecture is more impressive then the Capitol.

Exterior

2) As with any of the Smithsonian museums there is a great amount to see, so I will only mention some of the highlights that I found:

The Mercury Friendship 7 spacecraft and Apollo 11 Command module.

Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St. Louis

SpiritOfStLouis

The Apollo Lunar Module used for testing and training

LunarLander

The 1903 and 1907 Wright Flyers

WrightFlyer

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