Explore the innovations that made flight possible

Since the Wright brothers' first flight, aerospace has been critical to the future of the United States. That future continues to be filled with great possibilities and even greater adventures. Join us as we explore the dynamic innovations of the aerospace industry and the pioneering inventors that have laid the groundwork for future exploration.

As part of the celebration of the issuance of United States patent 10 million, we're hosting a lively conversation between National Air and Space Museum director Ellen Stofan, astronaut David Wolf, and United States Patent and Trademark Office director Andrei Iancu. They will look at significant historic aerospace patents and discuss the future of space technology and the role of intellectual property in encouraging and protecting new inventions and innovations.


  • Ellen Stofan – John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum; former NASA Chief Scientist;  recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
  • David Wolf – American astronaut with four missions and nearly six months in space; inventor on numerous U.S. patents
  • Andrei Iancu – Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property; director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office


How to attend

National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC

6th St. and Independence Ave SW. Washington, DC 20560
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