The National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. has hundreds of historic artifacts on display representing milestones in air and space exploration. The museum opened on July 1, 1976, and includes a planetarium and IMAX theater. In 2003, the museum added the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located in northern Virginia, featuring space for many larger air- and spacecraft. Space Shuttle Discovery is the newest exciting exhibit, but many other rare objects fill the museum as well. Plan a visit using information at airandspace.si.edu.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
Space Shuttle Discovery on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
The Museum's entry hall, Milestones of Flight showcases a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft that represent epic achievements in aviation and space flight.
SpaceShipOne, the first privately built and piloted vehicle to reach space, hangs between Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, left, and Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1, above right, in the Milestones of Flight in the National Air and Space Museum's building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Sputnik replica on display in the Milestones of Flight at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) on display under a full scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope. These artifacts reside in the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The Apollo 11 command module Columbia carried astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins to the moon and back in July 1969. During that historic eight-day mission, only 66 years after the Wright brothers' first flight, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to walk upon the surface of another world.
Former Senator John Glenn with his wife Annie as photographed standing next to Glenn's Mercury spacecraft, Friendship 7, at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC on Feb. 20, 2002.
After a three billion-mile journey to rendezvous with a comet, the Stardust return capsule joins the national collection of flight icons at the National Air and Space Museum.
John Grunsfeld — who flew on three missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope — stands with several Hubble telescope artifacts at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
This model of the fictional starship Enterprise was used in the weekly hourlong “Star Trek” TV series that aired September 1966 to June 1969. The model was donated to the National Air and Space Museum in 1974. The iconic prop now resides (rather ignominiously) in the lower level of the museum store, among the sale items.
An IMAX camera that flew aboard the space shuttle is seen at the “Moving Beyond Earth” gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, April 4, 2012, in Washington, D.C. This and another IMAX camera that flew in space became a part of the museum's collection.
A bracelet in the collection of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum belonged to Toni Foster, wife of an engineer who helped build the Mercury and Gemini space capsules.
Visitors listen to Tuskegee Airmen, and their descendents, tell of the challenges and triumphs as members of this groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group.
Space History curator Margaret Weitekamp talks to a young visitor at the Women in Aviation & Space Family Day. Celebration of Women's History Month, March 8, 2008 at the Smithsonain National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
The overlook at the entrance to the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
The Boeing Aviation Hangar at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the length of three football fields and 10 stories high.
Space Shuttle Discovery flies over its new home, the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on April 17, 2012. Discovery is going on permanent display at the Center after a welcome ceremony on April 19.
Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) flies over the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Washington. NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum to begin its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Spectators watch as space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) flies over the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Chantilly, Va. More than 6,000 spectators turned out to welcome Discovery to its museum home.
Space Shuttle Discovery, mounted on top of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, lands at Washington-Dulles International Airport at 11:05 am on April 17, 2012. Its new home, the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, is in the background.
Space Shuttle Discovery on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA on April 20, 2012. Discovery was installed on April 19, 2012.
Shown in this 2006 photo are two of the most popular artifacts at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (foreground) in the Boeing Aviation Hangar and Space Shuttle Enterprise (background) in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar. Enterprise was replaced by Space Shuttle Discovery in 2012.
The extra-vehicular (EV) gloves and lunar visor assembly worn by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon are temporarily on display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia in honor of his death.
A close look at the rear engine used on the National Reconnaissance Office's HEXAGON spy satellites during a display at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport, Va., on Sept. 17, 2011.
The massive KH-9 Hexagon spy satellite on display at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, after being declassified on Sept. 17, 2011. Longer than a school bus at 60 feet in length and weighing 30,000 pounds at launch, 20 KH-9 Hexagons were launched by the National Reconnaissance Office between 1971 and 1986.