Welcome to the National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight, as well as earth and planetary sciences.
The National Mall Building
Since the building opened in 1976, the National Air and Space Museum has been the most-visited museum in the world, and a must-see for visitors to Washington, D.C. The Museum tells the story of flight from the earliest days of balloon flight, to the sands of Kitty Hawk, to the current explorations of space. Exhibit galleries highlight the history of flight; the solar system; satellite imagery and aerial photography; and exploring the universe. The most important icons of flight are on display, including the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia. The Museum also offers the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, a planetarium, flight simulators, a Museum Store, and food service.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
The National Mall Building contains only 10 percent of the Smithsonian’s aviation and space collection. Most of the remaining artifacts, consisting of historic treasures such as Space Shuttle,Discovery; the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay; and the fastest jet ever built, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, are displayed at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a spectacular facility near Washington Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia. The massive Center displays aircraft and spacecraft in an open setting, with large vehicles on the floor and smaller ones on two levels suspended from the ceiling. Thousands of small treasures are displayed in glass cases. The Center includes the Airbus IMAX Theater; an observation tower with views of Washington Dulles International Airport runways; flight simulators; a Museum Store; and food service.