When visiting Washington DC there are a lot of places to visit, apart from the many historical monuments and political and military relics. Washington has museums that keep hundreds of documents and pieces that have been of great value for scientific and technological development worldwide.
Among all the artistic and cultural squares of the city, The National Air and Space Museum is one of the mandatory stops on your visit to the capital of the United States, it does not matter if you arrive for vacation, a work trip or if you are taking a Day Trip to Washington DC from New York. Moreover, as a result of the celebration of 50 years after the Apollo 11 moon landing, commemorated on July 20, a milestone in the history of mankind, the museum has been the meeting place for tourists and residents to see a bit of aerospace history.
A place dedicated to teaching everything about space to young and old.
What is the National Air and Space Museum about?
The National Air and Space Museum is part of one of the Smithsonian Institution’s research centers, which contains airplanes and spacecraft used around the world and at different times in history as part of its display. Most of the pieces used in the different collections are originals or at least they are reserve copies, so these have been key to studying aeronautical and aerospace science and technology, but they have also been very useful to analyze terrestrial geology and the geophysics.
Since 1976, the year of its foundation, the museum has received millions of visitors, as it has been considered one of the most fascinating museums in the city, not only for aviation lovers but for anyone who wants to know a little history. In fact, the annual numbers of visitors exceed those of other international museums such as the Louvre (Paris, France) or the Prado (Madrid, Spain).
What is there to see at the Air and Space Museum?
The complete exhibition is full of airplanes and ships that have been an important part in the world history of aviation, among them are airplanes that fought during World War II, ships that were part of the moon landing, or some others that helped transform the world of aviation to what we know today. Among the exhibits you will find:
- The Spirit of Saint Louis, the first ship to fly across the Atlantic Ocean piloted by Charles Lindberg in 1927.
- The Wright Flyer, a vehicle that has been considered the first aircraft in history, manufactured by the Wright brothers in 1903.
- The Bell X-1, used by Chuck Yeager to execute the first supersonic flight.
- The previously mentioned Apollo 11, used to take the first crew to the Moon, including Neil Armstrong.
- SpaceShipOne, the first vehicle piloted to reach space.
- Rocks brought from Mars.
- Moon rock samples.
- The prototype of the Boeing B707.
- SR-71 Blackbird, ship used for espionage.
- Air France Concorde plane, famous supersonic plane used to transport passengers.
- Discovery space shuttle.
- Enola Gay, plane used to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945.
And even more pieces, ships and garments used by the most important figures in the industry, there is even a second headquarter near Dulles International Airport, which is home to more than 200 aircraft and more than 130 spacecraft. In addition, in each room the exhibitions are set in such a way that they provide a bit of realism, allowing viewers to recreate spatial scenes as if they were there.
Where is the Air and Space Museum located?
The National Mall houses the main headquarters of the National Air and Space Museum, located right between the National Museum of the American Indians and the Hirshhorn Museum, to be more specific it is on Independence Avenue and 6th Street. Currently this is the main headquarters, however since 2003, thanks to a private donation, the museum has a secondary headquarters at the F. Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly.
Both museum venues are open from Sunday to Sunday, except for December 25th, admission is completely free and the hours are from 10 am to 5:30 pm.
In addition to the exhibits already mentioned, this place has a 3D IMAX movie theater and a Planetarium, the entrance to each of them costs about $ 10 dollars.
When taking a Day trip to DC from NYC this is one of the main stops, as it is not a historical monument per se but it does contain a lot of history inside.
If you have the opportunity to visit the capital of the United States, take some time to visit each of the rooms and detail each exhibition, even if you are not passionate about aviation, we are sure that this museum will capture your full attention. In fact, among the many films that have been filmed in Washington DC , “A night at the museum 2” has been the one that has given the museum the most attributions, even Amelia Earhart is one of the main characters of the film.
There is a guide about this for you: 9 Famous Movies Filmed In Washington
Pack your bags and join us on an adventure through the most important city in the USA, and why not? get ready to take one of the many souvenirs they have there for you and your family, something different and unique.