National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is located on the mall, and is the most popular of the Smithsonian museums. It has the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world and severs as a center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and spaceflight. Almost all the aircraft on display are originals or backup crafts to the originals.

Air and Space Museum Washington DC

The center of the museum is the "Milestones of Flight" exhibit. Some of the most important craft of the aerospace history is located there. Aircraft sit on the floor or are hung from the ceiling.

Air and Space Museum Washington DC

The museum was formed on August 12, 1946 by an act of Congress, some pieces in the Museum collection date back to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia after which China donated a group of kites to the Smithsonian. The Stringfellow steam engine intended for aircraft was brought into the collection in 1889, the first piece actively acquired by the Smithsonian now in the current NASM collection.

Air and Space Museum Washington DC

After the establishment of the museum, there was no one building that could hold all the items to be displayed. Some pieces were on display in the Arts and Industries Building, some were stored in a shed in the Smithsonian's South Yard that came to be known as the "Air and Space Building", and the larger missiles and rockets were displayed outdoors in "Rocket Row."

Air and Space Washington DC

The space race in the 1950s and 1960s led to the renaming of the Museum to the "National Air and Space Museum", and finally congressional passage of appropriations for the construction of the new exhibition hall, which opened July 1, 1976.

Air and Space Museum Washington DC

For More Information try one of the links below

Smithsonian Home Page

Smithsonian Collection Database

Air and Space Einstein Planetarium


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