The Space History Department is the focal point for the space-related historical research, collecting, and exhibit work of the Museum. Curators and staff within the department research and publish; engage in public outreach through exhibitions, lectures, and other means; and collect and manage the care of rocket and space artifacts in the Museum's collection. The department embodies the Museum's mission to preserve, understand, and communicate the history of rocketry and space exploration as part of the larger story of United States and world history.
As a museum, our special strength is documenting this history through our artifacts. The Museum possesses an unparalleled collection that preserves many facets of rocketry and space exploration undertaken by the United States and, to a lesser degree, other countries. Our artifacts cover programs and technology created for human spaceflight; rocketry and missiles; computers and avionics; commercial satellites; military space; space sciences; ground- and space-based astronomy; and foreign space programs. These artifacts are on display in a number of venues: the Museum on the National Mall, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and, through the department's active loan program, at museums throughout the United States and around the world.