Twenty years ago this December, our Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened to the public on December 15, 2003. Since then we have welcomed over 24 million people through the Udvar-Hazy Center's doors. Join us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Udvar-Hazy Center with a day packed full of everything you know and love about the museum. From a behind-the-scenes look at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar to talks with curators about your favorite artifacts to hands-on activities your family will love, this event will highlight why the Udvar-Hazy Center is a must-visit destination and look forward to what's next.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center will be free the day of the event!

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Thomas Pumpelly Trust.

Event Schedule

Behind-the-Scenes Access to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar (10 am to 2 pm)

  • Learn about artifact preservation, restoration, and conservation.
  • Talk to staff from the Welding and Fabrication Shop, the Office of the Registrar, Exhibits Production, the Collections Processing Unit, the Archives, Photo Services, and Curatorial Research.
  • Highlighted artifacts include Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, Lincoln-Standard H.S. J-1, Martin B-26 Flak-Bait, North American P-51D

Main Stage near the SR-71 Blackbird

  • 10:15 am: Performance by Marsha and the Positrons
  • 11:15 am: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Interview with Lori Aratani
  • 1:15 pm: Performance by USAF Band Brass Quintet

Kids Author Corner in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar Mezzanine

  • 11:30 am: With curators Matt Shindell and Emily Margolis
  • 12:30 pm: With curator Jennifer Levasseur

Artifact Spotlights at Corresponding Artifact Displays

  • 10 am: Pitts Special Little Stinker with curator Dorothy Cochrane
  • 10:30 am: Space Shuttle Discovery with curator Jennifer Levasseur
  • 11 am: Don Piccard’s Balloon Gondola with curator Tom Paone
  • 11:30 am: Corona Film Return Capsule with curator Jim David
  • 12 pm: Grumman F-14 Tomcat with curator Mike Hankins
  • 12:30 pm: Apollo 11 Mobile Quarantine Facility with curator Teasel Muir-Harmony
  • 1 pm: Air France Concorde with curator Bob van der Linden and archivist Melissa Kaiser
  • 1:30 pm: Mother Ship model from Close Encounters of the Third Kind with curator Margaret Weitekamp

IMAX Movies in the Airbus IMAX Theater

  • 10:55 am, 12:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:35 pm: Deep Sky screenings featuring 10-15 minute Q&A with filmmakers (fees apply)
  • 2:50 pm: Free screening of To Fly!

Activities on the Museum Floor (10 am to 2 pm)

  • Make Your Own Airplane Banner
  • Share Your Story With Us
  • Collect UHC 20 Trading Cards
  • Paper Airplane Contest
  • Discovery Stations
  • Udvar-Hazy Center Artifact Showdown Voting
  • Meet Our Science Researchers and Curators
  • Learn About Exhibition Design

Book Signings

  • 10 to 11 am: For the Love of Mars by curator Matt Shindell
  • 10 to 11 am: Our Future in Space by curators Matt Shindell and Emily Margolis
  • 10 to 11 am: Spies and Shuttles by curator Jim David
  • 10 to 11:30 am: Cosmonaut: A Cultural History by curator Cathy Lewis
  • 11 am to 12:30 pm: The Nation's Hangar by curator Bob van der Linden
  • 11:30 am to 12:30 pm: Through Astronaut Eyes and A is for Astronaut by curator Jennifer Levasseur
  • 12 to 1 pm: For the Love of Mars by curator Matt Shindell
  • 12 to 1 pm: Our Future in Space by curators Matt Shindell and Emily Margolis
  • 12 to 1:30 pm: The Art of Classic Sci-Fi Movies, Space Craze, and Pluto's Secret by curator Margaret Weitekamp
  • 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm: Flying Camelot by curator Mike Hankins
  • 1 to 2 pm: Operation Moonglow by curator Teasel Muir-Harmony

Event Map

National Air and Space Society Hospitality Suite

Members of the National Air and Space Society are invited to a special hospitality suite for light snacks and beverages from 11 am to 1 pm. Register for the Member Hospitality Suite. (Not a member? Join today.)

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Space Shuttle Discovery

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Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar

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Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

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Science demonstrations and hands-on activities 

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Air France Concorde

Aviation Spaceflight Behind the scenes
How to attend