Welcome Back to Air and Space

Posted on Tue, January 29, 2019

Though this year has just begun, it’s already ushered in some incredible new discoveries in aerospace—New Horizon’s fly-by of Ultima Thule, the landing of a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon for the first time, the first data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)—that have made us understand our universe in new and exciting ways. But for every audacious discovery, there have been years of work behind-the-scenes by dedicated scientists, programmers, and staff, all coming together to pull it off.

We’re changing the way we share the history of air and space.

Our exciting mission at the National Air and Space Museum is no different. As we reopen our doors to the public after the recent government shutdown, we are now in the full-swing our own new adventure—reimagining America’s favorite museum for the next generation of aviators, scientists, and astronauts.

Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 spacesuit being moved out of the exhibit case in the "Apollo to Moon" gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, August 28, 2018. Credit: National Air and Space Museum 

We’ve been talking about this big change for awhile, and for good reason. All 23 of our gallery spaces will be reimagined or completely new, covering the latest breakthroughs in aviation and space technology. We’re putting 1,400 new artifacts on display, along with all of your current favorites which will have the opportunity to undergo conservation treatment. We’re changing the way we share the history of air and space—surfacing new, never before told stories, and telling them in ways that are hands-on and interactive.

Pulling off a project of this scale requires the teamwork of Air and Space’s staff, from our security and construction teams, to our expert curators, to our collections care staff, to our educators. And along this seven-year journey, we are staying open, committed to bringing you the same high level of programming and visitor experience that you’ve enjoyed for over 40 years.

Children try out an interactive display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall after arriving for the reopening of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC on January 29, 2019.

Like any big mission, we’ll be giving you updates on our progress, taking you behind-the-scenes as we move artifacts and develop new exhibitions. (How do you move a Saturn V rocket engine? Very carefully—and we’ll show you when we do!) Whether you are coming to the National Mall in person, or checking in with our progress on social media, we’re excited to have you on our team. Let’s see where our bold new vision takes us.