FAQ

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the National Air and Space Museum. They are linked by topic and are not listed in any particular order.

Museum Visitor Information:

Does the Museum charge for parking at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center?
When did the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center open to the public?
How do I find out which artifacts are currently on display?
Can I purchase Air and Space Museum merchandise online?
Can I purchase Imax Theater and Einstein Planetarium tickets online?
Museum admission — is it free?
How do I contact Smithsonian/National Air and Space Museum staff?

Specific Exhibitions & Artifacts:

Why wasn't the 1903 Wright Flyer put on display at the Smithsonian until 1948?
Can I get detailed drawings of the 1903 Wright Flyer?
Where are the SR-71 and Space Shuttle?

Web Site Information:

Can I use Smithsonian copyrighted and other images from the Museum's Web site?
Does the Museum trade links with other web sites?

 

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Museum Visitor Information

Q: Does the Museum charge for parking at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center?
A: Yes. Find out details about parking at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Q: When did the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center open to the public?
A: The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened in December, 2003. Learn about the history of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Q: How do I find out which artifacts are currently on display?
A: Major artifacts are on display are listed on our exhibitions pages. To be certain the artifact you want to see is on display when you plan to visit, please call: (202) 633-2214.

Q: Can I purchase National Air and Space Museum merchandise online?
A: Yes. Visit the online store.

Q: Can I purchase Imax Theater and Einstein Planetarium tickets online?
A: Yes. Buy tickets.

Q: Museum admission — is it free?
A: Yes! Admission to all Smithsonian Institution Museums is free; however, there are fees for Imax films, planetarium shows, simulators, and some special programs.

Q: How do I contact Smithsonian/National Air and Space Museum staff?
A: The Visitor Services Department can put you in touch with Smithsonian staff.
phone: (202) 633-2214
e-mail: NASM-VisitorServices@si.edu

 

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Specific Exhibitions & Artifacts

Q: Why wasn't the 1903 Wright Flyer put on display at the Smithsonian until 1948?
A: Orville Wright was involved in a major feud with the Smithsonian, 1914-1942, relating to Smithsonian insistence on identifying the 1903 Langley Aerodrome as the first machine "capable of flight." It is a long and complex story. In the late 1920s, unable to get the Smithsonian to pay any attention to his concerns, Orville sent the world's first airplane to the Science Museum in London, and vowed that it would not return until the SI dealt honestly with the issue of priority in the invention of the airplane. Smithsonian secretary Abbott finally produced an article that satisfied Orville, and he quietly arranged for the airplane to come home at the end of WW II. The Science Museum asked to hold on to it a little longer to produce an accurate replica. The aircraft was finally unveiled in the rotunda of the Arts & Industries Building. on December 17, 1948.

Q: Can I get detailed drawings of the 1903 Wright Flyer?
A: Yes, the Archives Division currently offers a set of drawings of the Wright 1903 Flyer. To order the drawings, download an order form or contact the Archives.

Q: Where are the SR-71 and Space Shuttle?
A: The Space Shuttle Discovery and SR-71 Blackbird are on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

 

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Web Site Information

Q: Can I use Smithsonian copyrighted and other images from the Museum's Web site?
A: The National Air and Space Museum follows the Smithsonian's Terms of Use.

Q: Does the Museum trade links with other web sites?
A: No. The Museum does not trade links at this time.

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