Gallery: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: America's Aerospace Treasures

National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall

Photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

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.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

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.

Front View of Discovery in Udvar-Hazy Center

Dane Penland/Smithsonian Institution

Space Shuttle Discovery on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Milestones of Flight, Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

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 Donated to Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum

Photo by Eric Long/OIPP, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

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.

50 Years of Spaceflight: Astronauts Ponder the State of Exploration

Eric Long/National Air and Space Museum.

Sputnik replica on display in the Milestones of Flight at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Key Parts Returned from Hubble Telescope Now on Display at Smithsonian

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.

Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia in Milestones of Flight

Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

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.

John Glenn and Friendship 7

collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman

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.

Comet Capture Capsule Goes on Display

Eric Long/NASM

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.

Mr. Hubble Fix-It

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.

Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.