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  • Organization
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  • Annual Reports
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  • Transforming Air and Space
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  • Explore el Museo
  • 2020

    Never in the history of our Museum have our start-of-the-year plans been so abruptly and severely upended as they were in 2020. We understood quickly that the COVID-19 pandemic was something that was gravely impacting not just us and our colleagues, but the global audience we seek to inform and inspire. We had to become a fully virtual experience for our visitors. Thankfully, we were well prepared for this pivot.

    See the 2020 Annual Report

    In 2019, the museum made great strides along a transformative path. This includes great progress on the renovation of the building, planning for new exhibits that will reflect a broader range of stories of all people, and a successful Apollo 50 celebration that reached audiences outside of the museum walls. 

    See the 2019 Annual Report

    In 2018 the museum made the final preparations to embark on its seven-year Transformation to completely reimagine all galleries and public spaces in the National Mall Building to engage the millions who visit each year, and inspire a new generation of explorers, innovators and researchers. We did that while continuing to provide exhibits, events, programs and more to create wonder and stir the imaginations of all who come through our doors. In this report, we share the great year we had, and more importantly some stories of the people behind it all, the team that makes the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum a world leader.

    See the 2018 Annual Report

    More than 8.6 million guests passed through our doors in 2017, maintaining our position as one of the most visited museums in the world. And what awaited them at both of our locations was an experience unlike anything else on Earth. We’ve captured some of those experiences in this report. As you peruse these pages, we will introduce you to our staff, truly the heart and soul of our Museum, who made 2017 a banner year at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

    See the 2017 Annual Report

    In 2016 we commemorated 40 great years of unparalleled success, and demonstrated yet again why we are one of the world’s favorite museums. To celebrate, we reopened our central exhibition, the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall after an extensive redesign. This wasn’t the only highlight of 2016. We acquired new artifacts, made new discoveries on our most popular objects, and helped unlock the mysteries of the planet Mercury. We’ve had a great 40 years, and it’s only the beginning.

    See the 2016 Annual Report


    By all the measures we use to judge success at the National Air and Space Museum, 2015 was a great year. Two new exhibitions opened, both to critical acclaim. Educational activities have increased at both Museum locations: at any given time during public hours an educational program is taking place at one or both of our buildings. We published several books and participated in significant discoveries on other planets; among these was a study linking Earth's gravitational forces to the shrinking of the Moon.

    See the 2015 Annual Report


    As you will learn in the pages ahead, 2014 was a busy year for the Museum. We launched exhibitions; acquired new artifacts and relocated others; conducted hundreds of educational activities, including one that enabled children to speak to astronauts on the ISS; expanded Collections activities and held our first behind-the-scenes Open House; increased digital programming; produced 13 books; presented a number of standing-room-only lectures; and conducted research on Earth and other planets.

    See the 2014 Annual Report


    From sharing Leonardo da Vinci's fascination with human flight to exploring whether humans might live on other planets, from teaching a preschooler how a propeller works to generating broadcasts and webcasts onto screens across America, we advanced our mission in broad, new ways in 2013. Guided by the words "commemorate, educate, and inspire," we brought millions of people of all ages together, in our buildings and beyond our walls, through exhibitions and activities based on our research in aviation, space history, and planetary studies.

    See the 2013 Annual Report


    “Discovery” is the best word to describe the Museum’s 2012 activities — and not just because we welcomed a space shuttle by that name into the collection. The word also fits activities in research, education, exhibitions, programs, and collections care. Whether it was introducing kids to aviation pioneers, presenting programs that showcased planetary scientists’ most recent findings, or acquiring artifacts that represent ground-breaking technologies, the Museum embraced “discovery” in every sense of the word.

    See the 2012 Annual Report


    On almost all fronts, from research to programs to care of the collection, 2011 was a transitional year for the Museum. From announcing the next Mars landing site to recreating a 19th century balloon ascension to teaching children about the solar system to moving entire collections from one location to another, we accomplished a wide variety of things last year, most of them reflecting new initiatives and future objectives.

    See the 2011 Annual Report


    We have a tradition of celebrating milestones at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. The aircraft and spacecraft we collect, the scientific research we conduct, and exhibitions and programs we offer, focus on important achievements.

    See the 2010 Annual Report


    As a museum with dual commitments to history and science, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum focuses its activities in three major areas: aviation, space exploration, and planetary studies. In 2009, we recognized anniversaries in all three. These historic events, as well as myriad other activities presented by the Museum last year, were guided by our mission, to "commemorate," "educate" and "inspire."

    See the 2009 Annual Report