Join the Smithsonian Institution as we relive the greatest adventure of all time. Destination Moon will commemorate the achievements of the early space program in a new, state-of-the-art traveling exhibition and a permanent gallery at the Museum in Washington, DC.
The invention of the balloon struck the men and women of the late 18th century like a thunderbolt. The objects in this exhibition provide a sense of the wonder and excitement experienced by those who witnessed the birth of flight over two centuries ago.
While the German Luftwaffe demonstrated early successes in the use of airpower during World War II, and spurred many technological advancements, faulty military strategy and mismanagement of aircraft development programs ultimately led to its downfall.
The concept of gliders propelled by small engines emerged in the 1920s, but didn't rise in popularity until the 1970s. The ultralights on display include Cosmos Phase II, which appeared in the movie Fly Away Home.
Learn about the broad range of science performed by vehicles that travel into the Earth's atmosphere and beyond. The relatively young field of space science ranges from Earth observation to planetary exploration to astronomy and astrophysics.
Helicopters come closer than any other aircraft to achieving the birdlike freedom humanity has always envied. Learn about the history of helicopters from the first rotary-wing aircraft (autogiro) to the XV-15.
Millions of spectators watch aerobatic demonstrations each year, but it isn't all just for show. Aerobatic flying has influenced major advances in aircraft technology and military pilots develop aerobatic maneuvers to improve fighter tactics.