I have always been proud of my association with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Whenever I host the John H. Glenn Lecture in Space History or see the Friendship 7 on display, I'm reminded of the important work that the Museum does to preserve the history of aviation and spaceflight. Through its excellent exhibits, programs and activities the Museum educates the public about the American history of invention and innovation. Most importantly, the National Air and Space Museum offers our young visitors concrete experiences that excite their imaginations and inspire them to pursue studies in science and technology. Congratulations and Happy 35th Birthday!
~John H. Glenn
Mercury and Space Shuttle astronaut
Walking through the National Air and Space Museum provided me a history of our great aviation and space achievements — a period that was part of my life.
Apollo 13 astronaut
I'm really happy to be contacted by the air and space museum because we had such a wonderful time there. Also because Bart took a piece of the Spirit of St. Louis that we've been meaning to give back, but were just too embarrassed.
~ Marge Simpson
wife of Homer Simpson
Congratulations to everyone at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for 35 extraordinary years of providing your visitors an aviation wonderland that inspires and informs. I remember vividly my very first visit. I was captivated by every aspect of the exhibits, starting with the classic airplane smell I recognized as soon as I entered the American Airlines DC-7 fuselage. The Museum is a national treasure and I'm very happy to know that future generations will continue to have the opportunity to see such an amazing history up close.
~ Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger
US Airways "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot
America's hangar! How fantastic, proud and inspirational it is to be where our aviation history is sheltered and displayed. I have spent many hours discovering exhibits and artifacts and learning something new about them on every visit. This Museum has inspired me from the very beginning of my journey in aviation. Happy Anniversary National Air and Space Museum!
~Patty Wagstaff, Award winning acrobatic pilot
Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut and director of the National Air and Space Museum on opening day
I am delighted to see that the National Air and Space Museum continues to flourish, especially with the recently announced acquisition of the Space Shuttle Discovery.
~Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut and
director of the National Air and Space Museum on opening day
Elmo had so much fun pretending to be an astronaut at the National Air and Space Museum. Next time, Elmo will walk on the moon!
Each time I have the opportunity to visit the Museum I manage to see something I had not seen before and it's been a very rewarding experience. I would recommend to anyone interested in the aerospace world to make more than one visit to see the Museum and its collection.
~Robert A. "Bob" Hoover
WWII military and civilian test pilot
Took my young son there. Hard for him to believe planes weren't replicas. He logged lots of time in flight sim. Now he wants to fly F-18s.
Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut and artist
I visited the National Air and Space many times when I was an astronaut. I marveled at the magnificent facility the original director, my friend and fellow astronaut, Mike Collins had helped create. In July of 2009 I was invited to display some of my paintings of Apollo at the Museum, to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing. This is when I discovered that it was not the facility that made the National Air and Space Museum great, but the dedicated and skilled people that work there, that make it the best that there is on this beautiful planet Earth.
~ Alan Bean
Apollo 12 astronaut and artist
My son Dylan will never forget meeting his hero, Alan Bean at the Apollo 11th 40th anniversary at the Air and Space Museum book signing event. When I explained to Mr. Bean that my son is his biggest fan, the legendary astronaut and artist spontaneously grabbed Dylan's NASA cap from his head and signed that along with his book. My son was speechless for a day and the hat is now prominently displayed, never to be worn again.
On Veteran's Day 2005, my then-boyfriend Ben proposed to me at the Udvar-Hazy Center on the Skylab Scrabble Board. He worked with my colleagues for months to make the arrangements, and after nearly losing the ring under an exhibit railing as it bounced out of the box, I happily said yes and we'll celebrate our five year anniversary this September.
~Jennifer K. Levasseur
Museum Specialist, Space History Division
National Air and Space Museum
Over three decades preserving a legacy of dreams. That is what the 35th Anniversary means to me.
Apollo 17 astronaut and the last man to walk on the Moon
I remember my first visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I couldn't stop looking up! I was in awe of the airplane and I loved learning about the history of flight. I was even more excited to see my son's eyes light up as they looked around at everything.
Hollywood stars walked the red carpet at the premiere of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. From left to right are Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Ben Stiller, and Amy Adams.
The energy of being here, you do a take and everybody would applaud. You never get that on a movie. Yeah, it's like theater with a great audience, because anything you do because it's fun to see a movie being made.
Night at the Museum 2 Premiere
I was here when I was 10, with my mom. I will never forget it. I'll never forget it, the Air and Space Museum. I loved it.
Night at the Museum 2 Premier
Well this is the type of museum any kid would love. Like a lot of times you go to a museum and you get lost kind of, tired, looking at paintings. This is kind of a museum though where you see stuff. Was just looking at the plane that Chuck Yeager flew.
Night at the Museum 2 Premiere
But it's also thrilling, you know. You get in front of this stuff and I'm reminded all over again the scale, the kind of epic scale of this stuff.
Director Night at the Museum 2
I like museums anyway. I love science and history. It's quite incredible looking at these things.
Night at the Museum 2 Premiere
It is a magnificent sight to walk into the entry halls of the National Air and Space Museum. I have been privileged to participate in the design and flight test of almost every one of the vehicles that are on display in this room. It is truly an awesome experience. I was three years old when I saw Lindbergh land the Spirit of St. Louis in Richmond, Va. At the time it would have been impossible to conceive that I would someday be involved in the aerospace programs represented by these strange but beautiful machines. What an unbelievable place this museum is—it is truly an inspiration to those who would follow their dreams to the future.
~ Christopher Kraft
first head of the NASA Houston Center
The first thing I ever wanted to be when I was a boy was an astronaut. Although my professional goals changed, my love of space never did. Visiting the National Air and Space Museum has always inspired awe in me. From the Kitty Hawk to the Lunar Module to the Space Shuttle, the displays never cease to amaze and impress me!
Fox Morning News
As a kid at summer camp back in July of 1969, I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Yet it wasn't until I visited the Air & Space Museum years later, and saw the Apollo 11 Command Module in the almost delicate spangle of its aluminum, steel and titanium flesh, that I understood how risky, how lunatic, how magnificent the mission had been. I'm not ashamed to say that I wept at the sight.
~ Natalie Angier
science columnist, The New York Times and author of
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
I have always been a space geek so, of course, the National Air and Space museum was one of the first places I visited when coming to Washington, DC my senior year in college. That trip to our Nation's Capitol inspired me to move to DC after I graduated. Shortly after settling in, I met a charming young gentleman who quickly learned how to woo me. When he learned we shared an interest in Star Wars, he asked me to join him on a visit to the Air and Space museum to see the new "Star Wars: The Magic of Myth" exhibit. We spent several hours wandering around, learning about the sound effects of the movies, looking at concept drawings, and reflecting on the impact the movies had on our separate childhoods. Now, we are coming up on our 12th wedding anniversary and the museum has been an ongoing source for special gifts and special events we share in celebrating our mutual love of exploration and fantasy. We enjoy sharing the museum with our daughters, passing on how inquiry and wonder has lead mankind to reach for flight and space exploration, and explain how their generation will continue to develop new ways to explore our Universe.
~ Stacey Brooks
Visiting the National Air and Space Museum is a reminder of what our nation can accomplish when its people are united behind a clear and direct purpose. The Apollo 11 Command module display clearly illustrates this, as does the Spirit of St. Louis, which so gallantly demonstrated what one determined American can achieve. That possibility remains alive today, and this Museum is living proof.
~Mark A. Kellner
Technology columnist, The Washington Times