One museum, two locations
Visit us in Washington, DC and Chantilly, VA to explore hundreds of the world’s most significant objects in aviation and space history. Free timed-entry passes are required for the Museum in DC.
National Air and Space Museum in DC
Udvar-Hazy Center in VA
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Facts and Figures
Organization and People
- The Museum is the largest of the Smithsonian's 19 museums and its Center for Earth and Planetary studies is one of the Institution's nine research centers.
- More than eight million people a year visit the Museum's two locations, making it one of the most visited museum in the country. Since it opened in 1976, the Museum has welcomed 311 million visitors.
- The Museum's collection encompasses some 60,000 objects ranging in size from Saturn V rockets to jetliners to gliders to space helmets to microchips. Fully one-third of the Museum's aircraft and spacecraft are one-of-a-kind or associated with a major milestone.
- More than 12,000 cubic feet of documents recording the history, science, and technology of flight are housed in the Museum's Archives. The facility also holds the most complete collection of aviation and space images — more than 1.75 million photographs and 14,000 film and video titles.
- The Museum in Washington, DC has 21 exhibition galleries, covering diverse topics from world wars to the history of astronomy, from the Apollo space program to the relationship between time and navigation, to the Wright brothers and the aerial age.
- Three connecting hangars hold hundreds of aviation and space artifacts at the Udvar-Hazy Center, including the Space Shuttle Discovery; the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay; a NASA android; Charles Lindbergh memorabilia; space science instruments; and pilot and astronaut equipment and gear.
- Each year the Museum presents approximately 20 lectures, 12 family days, and 30 unique events. These educational programs often feature pioneers in aviation and space, including pilots, astronauts, and scientists.
- Our experts are making discoveries on Mercury, the Moon and Mars; have produced the world's most definitive research on spacesuits; are researching the history of Star Trek; and wrote a children's book on the demotion of Pluto. Visit the Museum any time on our website or connect with us on social media. Many exhibitions are online, most lectures are webcast live, and the Public Observatory often streams live images of the Sun.
The National Air and Space Museum is the largest of 21 museums included in the Smithsonian Institution. The Museum's Director is assisted by four Associate Directors, who oversee Curatorial Affairs; Collections, Archives and Logistics; Education; and External Affairs.
The Smithsonian's aeronautical collection began in 1876 when a group of kites was acquired from the Chinese Imperial Commission.
Read a yearly review of what goes on at the Museum, beginning in 2009.
Our staff conduct ground-breaking research in earth and planetary science and the history of aviation and spaceflight. Learn more about our researchers' work.
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