Planes on display of the aviation gallery

Behind the Scenes 

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Restoring every artifact. Transforming every experience.

The National Air and Space Museum building will remain open over the course of its monumental seven-year transformation. While at any given time some sections of the building will be closed, beloved artifacts will remain on exhibit. The first new galleries will open in 2022, and by the time the project is complete, the building’s exterior and infrastructure will be revitalized, every object will have undergone restoration, all 23 exhibitions will be completely reimagined, and new presentation spaces and attractions will be open to all.

Read the full press release

Behind the scenes gallery

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 spacesuit being moved out of the exhibit case in the "Apollo to the Moon" gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The suit has been on display since the Museum opened in 1976, helping tell the story of humankind’s journey to the Moon’s surface.

Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 spacesuit being moved out of an exhibit case in the "Apollo to the Moon" gallery at the Museum’s Washington, DC building. The suit is on its way to our Emil Buehler Conservation Lab at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia for treatment.

A member of the Museum’s collections team moving birds from the “Golden Age of Flight” exhibition. The birds—on loan from the National Museum of Natural History—were on display with the Northrop Gamma Polar Star aircraft from the explorer Lincoln Ellsworth's 1935 transantarctic flight.

Lisa Young, objects conservator at the Museum, works on Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit in the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory. Armstrong’s suit will be on display in our upcoming Destination Moon exhibition, set to open in 2022.

As part of Air and Space’s transformation, we’re putting 1,400 new artifacts on display. This gives us the opportunity to examine and treat these objects, big or small, at our Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory.


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