National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution Celebrating the greatest feats of aviation and space at two locations in DC and Virginia. The Museum in DC is open every day from 10 am to 5:30 pm.
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Timed-entry passes are required and can be reserved here: https://airandspace.si.edu/visit/museum-dc

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, is open every day from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Passes are not required. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum maintains the world's largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts, encompassing all aspects of human

flight, as well as related works of art and archival materials. This page represents both the National Mall location in Washington D.C, and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Together, these facilities welcome more than eight million visitors a year, making it the most visited museum in the country. We encourage you to share your visits using . Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit.

01/08/2024

Congratulations to ULA on the inaugural flight of its new Vulcan rocket!

80 years ago today, the prototype Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, the XP-80 "Lulu Belle," flew for the first time. Developm...
01/08/2024

80 years ago today, the prototype Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, the XP-80 "Lulu Belle," flew for the first time. Development on the aircraft began when the United States Army Air Forces asked Lockheed to develop a new, more capable combat jet. "Lulu-Belle" was not only the fastest aircraft in America at that time, but it could also climb very fast to high altitudes. More on the XP-80: https://s.si.edu/3fKXDwq

Hot off the press! The Winter 2024 issue of Air & Space Quarterly is now available on our website. Read about the final ...
01/07/2024

Hot off the press! The Winter 2024 issue of Air & Space Quarterly is now available on our website. Read about the final Reno Air Races, how Mickey and Snoopy got their wings, and more: https://s.si.edu/3H6jBcZ

On this day in 1958, the Vertol VZ-2 (Model 76) made its first horizontal flight. It could take off and land vertically ...
01/07/2024

On this day in 1958, the Vertol VZ-2 (Model 76) made its first horizontal flight. It could take off and land vertically by pivoting its entire wing upwards, along with its lifting propellers: s.si.edu/3rIZqdc

On this day in 1610, Galileo Galilei first observed the moons of Jupiter. For that reason, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Cal...
01/07/2024

On this day in 1610, Galileo Galilei first observed the moons of Jupiter. For that reason, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are called the Galilean satellites. We now know Jupiter has at least 95 moons: https://s.si.edu/3Sbv8Ox

20 years ago this week, Mars rover Spirit landed on the Red Planet. Rovers have been continuously exploring Mars ever si...
01/06/2024

20 years ago this week, Mars rover Spirit landed on the Red Planet. Rovers have been continuously exploring Mars ever since.

Check out three generations of Mars rovers on display in the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planet Gallery virtual tour: https://s.si.edu/3H8aacP

On this day in 1979, the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing accepted the Tactical Air Command's first F-16 Fighting Falcon.đź“·: F...
01/06/2024

On this day in 1979, the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing accepted the Tactical Air Command's first F-16 Fighting Falcon.

đź“·: F-16 cockpit

Here are some of our birds, named after birds!  đź“·: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Bowlus Senior Albatross Falcon, Grumman G-2...
01/06/2024

Here are some of our birds, named after birds!

đź“·: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Bowlus Senior Albatross Falcon, Grumman G-21 Goose, Boeing FB-5 Hawk

75 years ago today, Chuck Yeager piloted Bell X-1 in the only ground takeoff of the X-1 program. Originally designed for...
01/05/2024

75 years ago today, Chuck Yeager piloted Bell X-1 in the only ground takeoff of the X-1 program.

Originally designed for conventional ground takeoffs, safety and performance concerns prompted mission planners to air-launch X-1 aircraft from Boeing B-29 or B-50 Superfortresses.

Today in 1958, Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, burned up on reentry into Earth's atmosphere. The satell...
01/05/2024

Today in 1958, Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, burned up on reentry into Earth's atmosphere. The satellite sent signals back to Earth for almost a month before its batteries died. More on Sputnik and the Space Age: https://s.si.edu/3mQUvor

Calling all middle school STEAM educators! Apply for the Smithsonian's free Teacher Innovator Institute to spend two wee...
01/04/2024

Calling all middle school STEAM educators! Apply for the Smithsonian's free Teacher Innovator Institute to spend two weeks in DC this summer exploring the connections between informal STEAM education and authentic learning.

Apply by January 15: https://s.si.edu/47silLM

On this day in history in 1989, our Grumman F-14 Tomcat downed a MiG-23 near the coast of Libya. The pilot of the MiG-23...
01/04/2024

On this day in history in 1989, our Grumman F-14 Tomcat downed a MiG-23 near the coast of Libya. The pilot of the MiG-23 ejected safely from the destroyed aircraft.

On this day in 1949, this Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Eagle Owl) was transferred to the National Air Museum. The He 219, one of ...
01/03/2024

On this day in 1949, this Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Eagle Owl) was transferred to the National Air Museum. The He 219, one of the German Luftwaffe's most formidable night fighters in World War II, was fast, maneuverable & carried devastating firepower: s.si.edu/3FYRtGA

20 years ago today, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed on the Red Planet in Gusev crater. Spirit far exceeded it...
01/03/2024

20 years ago today, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed on the Red Planet in Gusev crater. Spirit far exceeded its 90-day lifespan, operating on Mars for six years: s.si.edu/3jKyIQL

We celebrate science fiction because inspiration and imagination are critical to spaceflight. Visitors to our two locati...
01/03/2024

We celebrate science fiction because inspiration and imagination are critical to spaceflight. Visitors to our two locations can explore iconic pieces of sci-fi history, including a screen-used X-wing, the studio model of the Star Trek starship Enterprise, and the model of the Mother Ship used in filming of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

20 years ago today, the Stardust spacecraft—the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to returning extraterrestrial ...
01/02/2024

20 years ago today, the Stardust spacecraft—the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to returning extraterrestrial material from beyond the Moon—encountered comet Wild-2 to collect and return the first sample taken from a comet.

You can see the comet return capsule in "Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery" at our Museum in DC.

On this day in 1939, Lockheed delivered the first prototype XP-38 to the Army Air Corps. It was a precursor to the P-38 ...
01/01/2024

On this day in 1939, Lockheed delivered the first prototype XP-38 to the Army Air Corps. It was a precursor to the P-38 Lightning. Discover the story behind the design of this Kelly Johnson classic on the blog: https://s.si.edu/3HuNm55

110 years ago today, the world's first scheduled airline, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, began operation in Flor...
01/01/2024

110 years ago today, the world's first scheduled airline, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, began operation in Florida. The flight covered 18 miles and took about 11.5 hours less than traveling from St. Petersburg to Tampa by rail. Regular fares were $5 one-way.

Happy New Year from your friends at the National Air and Space Museum!📸: 1907 greeting card from the Krainik Ballooning ...
01/01/2024

Happy New Year from your friends at the National Air and Space Museum!

📸: 1907 greeting card from the Krainik Ballooning Collection

55 years ago today, the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 flew for the first time. It was the first commercial supersonic transport ...
12/31/2023

55 years ago today, the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 flew for the first time. It was the first commercial supersonic transport to fly—it exceeded the speed of sound in June 1969 and was first publicly shown in Moscow in May 1970.

85 years ago today, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the first passenger aircraft with a pressurized cabin, made its first fl...
12/31/2023

85 years ago today, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the first passenger aircraft with a pressurized cabin, made its first flight. Boeing only built 10, and our “Clipper Flying Cloud” is the only remaining intact Stratoliner in the world.

Goodyear airship "Pilgrim" retired on this day in 1931. It made 4,765 flights, carried 5,355 passengers, flown a total o...
12/31/2023

Goodyear airship "Pilgrim" retired on this day in 1931. It made 4,765 flights, carried 5,355 passengers, flown a total of 2,880 hours, and covered 95,000 miles. More on the airship: https://s.si.edu/3JqO19z

On this day in 1947, MiG-15 made its first flight. It featured the first production swept-wing, pressurized cockpit, and...
12/30/2023

On this day in 1947, MiG-15 made its first flight. It featured the first production swept-wing, pressurized cockpit, and ejection seat on a Russian aircraft. Read our blog on the earliest aerial combat between swept-wing jet fighters (MiG-15 and F-86): https://s.si.edu/3EHoGol

On this day in 1964, this photo of the starship Enterprise studio model used in filming   was taken outside the producti...
12/30/2023

On this day in 1964, this photo of the starship Enterprise studio model used in filming was taken outside the production model shop in Burbank California.

The model is now on display at our Museum in DC.

On this day in 1942, the Bell Model 30 Ship 1 helicopter flew for the first time. After its tail was destroyed in a 1943...
12/29/2023

On this day in 1942, the Bell Model 30 Ship 1 helicopter flew for the first time. After its tail was destroyed in a 1943 crash, it was repaired with a magnesium-skin tail and redesignated Ship 1A. See it at the Udvar-Hazy Center: http://s.si.edu/3WPr6KV

Throwback to a time when we apparently had trees inside our Museum.This picture of the Milestones of Flight gallery was ...
12/29/2023

Throwback to a time when we apparently had trees inside our Museum.

This picture of the Milestones of Flight gallery was taken on this day in 1976, about six months after the Museum opened in DC.

Today in 1932, Star Trek actor Nichelle Nichols was born. Her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura made her an inspiration t...
12/28/2023

Today in 1932, Star Trek actor Nichelle Nichols was born. Her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura made her an inspiration to many and in 1977, she worked with NASA to recruit women and people of color. Her life and legacy: https://s.si.edu/3PWxQ6L

On this day in 1942, the Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai GEORGE flew for the first time. Although lesser known, this Japanes...
12/27/2023

On this day in 1942, the Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai GEORGE flew for the first time. Although lesser known, this Japanese fighter aircraft's superb abilities make it a notable part of Japanese aerial history. Read more on the blog: s.si.edu/3FTMTdP

Today in 1968, Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, concluding a hugely successful mission that took astronauts ...
12/27/2023

Today in 1968, Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, concluding a hugely successful mission that took astronauts to lunar orbit and back for the first time. Astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders, and Jim Lovell were recovered from the command module and flown by helicopter to the USS Yorktown.

A U.S. Air Force ALOTS (Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System) camera mounted on a KC-135A aircraft flown at 40,000 ft was able to capture Apollo 8 reentering Earth's atmosphere.

More on Apollo 8: https://s.si.edu/3ql4aVe

The Apollo 11 astronauts had fruitcake left over too!This fruitcake flew on Apollo 11, but is in our collection these da...
12/27/2023

The Apollo 11 astronauts had fruitcake left over too!

This fruitcake flew on Apollo 11, but is in our collection these days because, shockingly, it wasn't actually consumed.

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