If you were ever the kid that was super into planes and rockets, this is the one Smithsonian museum you can’t miss. Not even the Natural History Museum’s dinosaurs can hold up to the artifacts on display here. The only thing cooler might be dinosaurs *on* rockets, but until that happens, the Air and Space Museum will reign supreme. It’s absolutely mind-blowing that they have real-life capsules that were actually in space; You can even see carbon scoring on them. Reading the plaques alongside the displays is normally not exciting, but at the Air and Space Museum, it’s extra fascinating.
“Visit Apollo 11's Command Module”
The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. The museum was originally called the National Air Museum when formed on August 12, 1946 by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, some pieces in the National Air and Space Museum collection date back to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia after which the Chinese Imperial Commission donated a group of kites to the Smithsonian after Smithsonian Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird convinced exhibiters that shipping them home would be too costly. The Stringfellow steam engine intended for aircraft was added to the collection in 1889, the first piece actively acquired by the Smithsonian now in the current NASM collection Visit Apollo 11's Command Module at the Milestones of Flight exhibit!
I highly recommend making sure your phone and/or cameras are charged! You're gonna want to take LOTS of pictures. The IMAX and Planetarium shows sell out quickly, so you should buy your tickets early. You can only bring bottled water into the museum. Free WI-FI, choose SI-VISITOR and connect.
By far one of the best museums in the country.
I loved it, spouse and one of the kids got bored quick and left early. This may be one of those love it or hate it type deals. If you love it, this could easily take a whole day to see everything.
Favorites were the Skylab walkthrough, the early days of commercial aviation and the monn rocks.
My all time favorite museum in DC. My dad's a pilot and anytime we'd visit here as kids he wouldn't let us leave until we could explain the four principles of flight and how a jet engine works. I also discovered freeze dried ice cream here (or, space ice cream). SO GOOD.
I didn't really think of myself as the kind of guy who would love the Air & Space Museum before I visited, but I have to admit that I totally loved it. The museum has such a cool collection of aircraft and spacecraft, and they exhibit the material in such a way that it's appealing to all age groups and levels of technical understanding. My favorite parts included seeing Apollo 11's command module and the museum's assortment of famous planes, such as the Wright Brothers' working model and Amelia Earhardt's plane.
I have some great memories going here as a kid with my dad. There are so many fascinating aircraft that you can see up close and I took a lot of pictures of them on my Fischer Price camera. The progression of technology in air and space travel is amazing to see here, no matter how old you are.
So much fun! The open layout is nice; it made it feel less crowded than some of the other museums. Really great displays on American wars, the Wright brothers, the moon landing, etc.!
It really is the best of the Smithsonian museums. So many interesting exhibits, some unapologetically sciency! Plus, there is a McDonalds inside...a really expensive one, but still better priced than any of the other food courts in the Mall museums.
My husband, who is a pilot, and I visited a few air museums in the past all over the world and truthfully this particular one did not leave a grand impression on us. It caters definitely more to a younger crowd, being family friendly. Its a lovely place to visit if you have some time, but don't bother if you have an intense interest in aviation because besides the Wright's plane there isn't much to see there.
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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
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