gallery rendering for future exhibition, "Destination Moon"

Reimagining America's
Favorite Museum

Join us on a daring new adventure to reimagine and transform the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum for a new age of exploration. 

Over the next several years, we will radically transform our building, 23 galleries and presentation spaces, and the way we engage the world in humankind's greatest story: flight. 

 

It's Happening Now

Major Renovation Underway - Museum Open Through Construction

Over the next several years we will be renovating all of our exhibitions and welcoming a bold new future. The Museum will remain open throughout the seven-year project with phased closures and openings of our galleries, as well as our shops, theaters, and cafe. Museum favorites will remain on display including the 1903 Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, Bell X-1, and the North American X-15.

Explore a full list of exhibitions to visit. Learn more about our mission to transform the National Air and Space Museum, and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter for the latest news and renovation schedule.

The Facts

  • This is the first major construction project for the building in Washington, DC, since opening 41 years ago. 
  • Visitors will start seeing changes to the Museum in fall 2018.
  • The Museum will remain open through the project by dividing the construction into two major phases.
  • The project is scheduled to take 7 years.
  • All of our 23 galleries and presentation spaces will be transformed.
  • We are raising $250M through private donations to fund the future galleries. 
  • The project also includes the complete re-facing of the exterior stone, replacement of outdated mechanical systems, and other improvements supported by federal funding. 

13,000

23

$250M

stone slabs replaced

new galleries or presentation spaces

fundraising goal

1,441

7

0

newly displayed artifacts

years scheduled to complete

days closed for construction

13,000

23

stone slabs replaced

new galleries or presentation spaces

1,441

7

newly displayed artifacts

years shceduled to complete

$250M

0

fundraising goal

days closed for construction

 


Take a peek behind the scenes of our transformation

Behind the Scenes

Get Involved

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Got a question?

Here are answers to the questions most visitors have. 

Don't see an answer to your question? Ask us at youcanhelpnasm@si.edu

What is the transformation?

Over the course of several years, we will radically transform our National Mall building, all 23 galleries and presentation spaces, and the way we engage the world in humankind's greatest story: flight.
 
The Museum will remain open throughout the project, with phased closures and openings of our galleries, as well as our shops, theaters, and cafe.

Why is this happening now?

The National Mall building needs our attention. Since opening in 1976, the flagship location has welcomed more than 350 million people—that’s more than the population of the United States—which makes for some serious wear and tear, inside and out.

What parts of the Museum will be affected?

There will be significant renovation of the building's exterior and the underlying infrastructure, and all 23 galleries will be transformed—some of which are original to the building. Portions of the Museum will be closed on a rolling basis, but there will always be areas open to visitors and artifacts on display.

Why is it changing? It’s already a great museum.

We agree! And so do the millions of visitors who make the Museum one of the most popular in the world. The heart of the Museum will always be our unrivaled collection of aircraft and spacecraft, one-third of which are one of a kind or represent a major milestone.

What will happen to my favorite exhibits and artifacts?

By the time the transformation is complete, every artifact will have undergone conservation efforts. Iconic objects will return alongside many artifacts that have never been displayed. The new exhibit spaces will give visitors new ways to engage with history and trace its impact today and tomorrow.

When is this happening?

Work is already underway. The seven-year project kicked off in December 2018, and will take place in two major phases.

How will this impact my visit?

While sections of the Museum will be closed for construction over the years, the Museum will remain open to the public, and our year-round programming for kids, educators, and aerospace enthusiasts will continue. Check our schedule of gallery closures to see what will be on view during your trip. You can also speak with our Visitor Services team, or stop by our Southwest Airlines Welcome Center once you're here.

How can I get involved?

Every gift to the Museum brings us one step closer to our $250 million fundraising goal. Donate, become a member, or place your name on the Wall of Honor to be recognized among others who share a commitment to preserving aerospace history to educate and inspire the next generation.

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How can I keep track of progress?

We will be sharing stories, behind-the-scenes videos, and photos throughout the project. Follow us on social media, or get the latest news and schedules straight to your in-box by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

A Bold New Approach

A major building revitalization is the catalyst for a radical transformation of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Together, we will reimagine how you engage with the Museum and revolutionize the way we educate and inspire the next generation. An experience with the Museum will become a launch pad for a lifetime of discovery.

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