Image of the building with a projection on the exterior.



General J.R. Dailey addresses the crowd at ceremony celebrating the National Air and Space Museum's 40th anniversary

General J.R. Dailey, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Musuem, addresses the crowd at a ceremony celebrating the Museum's 40th anniversary. 

Through its public programs, the Museum introduces visitors to exciting, inspiring, and educational aspects of aviation and space exploration.

Among the programs in 2016 were three very popular events:

  • A sold-out panel discussion by distinguished speakers Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and founder/space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, moderated by David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group
  • A three-night special event with extended hours to reveal the newly restored Star Trek starship Enterprise studio model (see Spotlight)
  • A 40th birthday celebration that lasted all night attended by more than 54,000 people

See a complete list of programs offered in 2016. 


BOLDLY GO 50 — A Three-Night Star Trek Celebration

Visitors dressed in Star Trek costumes view the studio model of the starship Enterprise during the Museum’s Boldly Go 50 event.

Star Trek fans commemorated the 50th anniversary of the popular science fiction TV show with three nights of special programming at the Museum in Washington, DC, and the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The activities explored the history of the Star Trek franchise and its role in inspiring generations of real scientists, innovators, and explorers. Additionally, attendees were able to see the meticulously restored Star Trek starship Enterprise studio model.

On Thursday, September 8, the first episode of the original series was shown at both locations at 8:00 pm — the exact time the show premiered in 1966. The showing attracted 400 attendees downtown and 267 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

On Friday, September 9, the Museum in Washington, DC, hosted a BOLDLY GO 50 celebration from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm with Star Trek-themed programming. This included screenings of Smithsonian Channel's special documentary, Building Star Trek, and the brand-new documentary from Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock, as well as presentations by special guests and a Star Trek costume contest. Approximately 2,800 people attended.

Finally, on Saturday, September 10, the popular Museum Moonshine series continued at the Museum’s Washington, DC, location with a Star Trek-centric 21-and-over program that explored the recent restoration of the Enterprise model. Attendees totaled 275.

These events were sponsored by The Roddenberry Foundation. Additional support provided by Adam Schneider.