National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, also called the NASM, is a museum in Washington, D.C.. It was established in 1946 as the National Air Museum and opened its main building on the National Mall near L'Enfant Plaza in 1976. In 2016, the museum saw approximately 7.5 million visitors, making it the third most visited museum in the world, and the most visited museum in the United States. [3] The museum contains the Apollo 11 command module, the Friendship 7 capsule which was flown by John Glenn, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1 which broke the sound barrier, and the Wright brothers' plane near the entrance.

The National Air and Space Museum is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. Almost all space and aircraft on display are originals or the original backup craft. It operates an annex, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, at Dulles International Airport, which opened in 2003 and itself encompasses 760,000 square feet (71,000 m2). The museum currently conducts restoration of its collection at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland, while steadily moving such restoration and archival activities into the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, a part of the Udvar-Hazy annex facilities as of 2014.

National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum is located in Central Washington, D.C.
National Air and Space Museum
Location within Washington, D.C.
National Air and Space Museum is located in the US
National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum (the US)
Established1946 (as the National Air Museum)
LocationWashington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′17″N 77°01′12″W / 38.888°N 77.020°WCoordinates: 38°53′17″N 77°01′12″W / 38.888°N 77.020°W
TypeAviation museum
Visitors7 million (2017)[1]
DirectorDr. Ellen Stofan[2]
CuratorPeter Jakab
Public transit accessWMATA Metro Logo.svg Washington Metro
WMATA Blue.svg WMATA Orange.svg WMATA Yellow.svg WMATA Green.svg WMATA Silver.svg at L'Enfant Plaza


National Air and Space Museum Entrance
The Milestones of Flight entrance hall of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Among the visible aircraft are Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 command module, SpaceShipOne, the Bell X-1, and (far right) the Friendship 7 capsule.

Because of the museum's close proximity to the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian wanted a building that would be architecturally impressive but would not stand out too boldly against the Capitol building. St. Louis-based architect Gyo Obata of HOK designed the museum as four simple marble-encased cubes containing the smaller and more theatrical exhibits, connected by three spacious steel-and-glass atria which house the larger exhibits such as missiles, airplanes and spacecraft. The mass of the museum is similar to the National Gallery of Art across the National Mall, and uses the same pink Tennessee marble as the National Gallery.[4] Built by Gilbane Building Company, the museum was completed in 1976. The west glass wall of the building is used for the installation of airplanes, functioning as a giant door.[5]


The museum's prominent site on the National Mall once housed the city's armory, and during the Civil War, Armory Square Hospital nursed the worst wounded cases who were transported to Washington after battles.[6]

The Air and Space Museum was originally called the National Air Museum when formed on August 12, 1946 by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.[7][8] Some pieces in the National Air and Space Museum collection date back to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia after which the Chinese Imperial Commission donated a group of kites to the Smithsonian after Smithsonian Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird convinced exhibiters that shipping them home would be too costly. The Stringfellow steam engine intended for aircraft was added to the collection in 1889, the first piece actively acquired by the Smithsonian now in the current NASM collection.[9]

After the establishment of the museum, there was no one building that could hold all the items to be displayed, many obtained from the United States Army and United States Navy collections of domestic and captured aircraft from World War I. Some pieces were on display in the Arts and Industries Building, some were stored in the Aircraft Building (also known as the "Tin Shed"), a large temporary metal shed in the Smithsonian Castle's south yard. Larger missiles and rockets were displayed outdoors in what was known as Rocket Row. The shed housed a large Martin bomber, a LePere fighter-bomber, and an Aeromarine 39B floatplane. Still, much of the collection remained in storage due to a lack of display space.[9]

The combination of the large numbers of aircraft donated to the Smithsonian after World War II and the need for hangar and factory space for the Korean War drove the Smithsonian to look for its own facility to store and restore aircraft. The current Garber Facility was ceded to the Smithsonian by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1952 after the curator Paul E. Garber spotted the wooded area from the air. Bulldozers from Fort Belvoir and prefabricated buildings from the United States Navy kept the initial costs low.

The space race in the 1950s and 1960s led to the renaming of the museum to the National Air and Space Museum, and finally congressional passage of appropriations for the construction of the new exhibition hall,[10] which opened July 1, 1976 at the height of the United States Bicentennial festivities under the leadership of Director Michael Collins, who had flown to the Moon on Apollo 11.[11] The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened in 2003, funded by a private donation.

The museum received COSTAR, the corrective optics instrument installed in the Hubble Space Telescope during its first servicing mission (STS-61), when it was removed and returned to Earth after Space Shuttle mission STS-125. The museum also holds the backup mirror for the Hubble which, unlike the one that was launched, was ground to the correct shape. There were once plans for it to be installed to the Hubble itself, but plans to return the satellite to Earth were scrapped after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003; the mission was re-considered as too risky.

The Smithsonian has also been promised the International Cometary Explorer, which is currently in a solar orbit that occasionally brings it back to Earth, should NASA attempt to recover it.

NCC-1701 Prop
Paramount's filming model of the Star Trek starship Enterprise under restoration for NASM exhibition

The Air and Space Museum announced a two-year renovation of its main entrance hall, "Milestones of Flight" in April 2014. The renovation to the main hall (which had not received a major update since the museum opened in 1976) was funded by a $30 million donation from Boeing. The gift, which will be paid over seven years, is the largest corporate donation ever received by the Air and Space Museum. Boeing had previously given donations totaling $58 million. The hall will be renamed the "Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall". The renovation (whose total cost was not revealed) began in April 2014, and will involve the temporary removal of some exhibits before the hall is refurbished. Because some exhibits represent century-old achievements which no longer resonate with the public, some items will be moved to other locations in the museum while new exhibits are installed. The first new exhibit, a 1930s wind tunnel, will be installed in November 2014. When finished, the hall will present a "more orderly" appearance, and allow room for the placement of future new exhibits (which will include moving the filming model of the USS Enterprise from the original 1960s Star Trek television series into the hall). The renovation will also include the installation of a "media wall" and touch-screen information kiosks to allow visitors to learn about items on display. An additional gift from Boeing is funding the renovation of the "How Things Fly" children's exhibit, new museum educational programming, and the creation of an accredited course on flight and space technology for elementary and secondary school teachers.[12]


Since 1976, the Air and Space Museum has received basic repair. In 2001, the glass curtain walls were replaced.[13]

In June 2015, the Smithsonian made public a report which documented the need for extensive renovations to the Air and Space Museum. Many of the building's mechanical and environmental systems were redesigned during its construction from 1972 to 1976, which left them inadequate to handle the environmental, visitor, and other stresses placed on the building and its exhibits. Subsequently, these systems are in serious disrepair and exhibits are being harmed. The report noted that the HVAC system is close to failure, and the roof has been compromised so badly that it must be replaced. The Tennessee marble façade has cracked and become warped, and in some areas is so damaged it could fall off the building.[a] The museum's glass curtain walls (among those elements of the 1976 structure whose design was altered for cost reasons) are too permeable to ultraviolet radiation. Several exhibits (such as the spacesuit worn by John Young during the Gemini 10 mission, and the coating on the Spirit of St. Louis aircraft) have been damaged by this radiation.[13] Additionally, the Smithsonian's report noted that cutbacks in building design prior to and during construction left the museum with too few amenities, main entrances which are partially obscured, and exhibit space which does not meet current ADA accessibility standards. New security measures, required after the September 11 attacks in 2001, have created extensive queues which extend outside the building. Exposed, lengthy queues are both a security hazard and often cause visitors to wait in inclement weather.[13]

On June 30, 2015, the Smithsonian began seeking approval for a $365 million renovation to the National Air and Space Museum. The agency hired the firm of Quinn Evans Architects to design the renovations and improvements. Interior changes include improving handicapped accessibility, main entrance visibility, and perimeter security. The entire façade will be replaced (using Tennessee marble again).[b] The glass curtain walls will be replaced with triple glazed, thermally broken panels set in an aluminum frame. The curtain walls will be reinforced with steel to help improve their resistance to explosive blasts.[13] Additional changes the Smithsonian would like to make, but which are not included in the $365 million price tag, include the installation of 1,300 solar panels on roof and the Independence Avenue side of the museum, the construction of vestibules over the main entrances, and reconstruction of the terraces (which leak water into the parking garage and offices beneath the structure).[13] The Smithsonian said it would submit its designs to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on July 9, 2015, for review and approval. If the NCPC authorizes the changes, the museum (which has the money for construction in hand) could begin work in 2018 and finish in 2024.[13]

In March 2016, Smithsonian officials said the project's cost had risen to $600 million.[14]

In late June 2016, Smithsonian officials projected the museum's renovation to cost $1 billion. This included $676 million for construction, $50 million to build new storage space, and $250 million for new exhibits. The Smithsonian said it would raise the exhibit funds from private sources, but asked Congress to appropriate the rest. Demolishing the building and erecting a new structure would cost $2 billion, the agency claimed.[14]


Controversy erupted in March 1994 over a proposed commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan. The centerpiece of the exhibit was the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the A-bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Veterans' groups, led by the Air Force Association and The Retired Officers Association, argued strongly that the exhibit's inclusion of Japanese accounts and photographs of victims politicized the exhibit and insulted U.S. airmen.[15] Also disputed was the predicted number of U.S. casualties that would have resulted from an invasion of Japan, had that been necessary, after the museum director, Martin O. Harwit, unilaterally reduced the figure by 75% on January 9, 1995, at the height of the dispute. On January 18 the American Legion called for a congressional investigation of the matter, and on January 24, 1995, 81 members of Congress called for Harwit's resignation. Harwit was forced to resign on May 2. Although the exhibit was "radically reduced" and criticized by the New York Times as "the most diminished display in Smithsonian history,"[16] the Air and Space Museum placed the forward fuselage of the Enola Gay and other items on display as part of a non-political historical exhibition. Within a year, it had drawn more than a million visitors, making it the most popular special exhibition in the history of the NASM, and when the exhibition closed in May 1998, it had drawn nearly four million visitors.[17]

On October 8, 2011, the museum was temporarily closed after demonstrators associated with the Occupy D.C. demonstration attempted to enter the museum. Some protesters were pepper sprayed by museum security after a guard was pinned against a wall. One woman was arrested.[18][19][20][21]

On December 5, 2013, Smithsonian food workers protested about a living wage.[22][23] A journalist was detained for illicit filming.[24][25]


Carl W. Mitman was the first head of the museum, under the title of Assistant to the Secretary for the National Air Museum, heading the museum from 1946 until his retirement from the Smithsonian in 1952.[26]

Directors have included Philip S. Hopkins, 1958-1964,[26] S. Paul Johnston, 1964-1969,[26] Frank A. Taylor (acting), 1969-1971,[26] Michael Collins, 1971–1978,[27] Melvin B. Zisfein (acting), 1978-1979,[27] Noel W. Hinners, 1979-1982,[27] Walter J. Boyne (acting 1982–1983, director 1983-1986),[27] James C. Tyler (acting), 1986-1987,[27] Martin O. Harwit, 1987-1995,[27] Donald D. Engen, 1996-1999,[28] and John R. Dailey, 2000–2018,[28][29] Dr. Ellen Stofan, 2018–present[30]

Photo gallery

The main museum on the mall includes 61 aircraft, 51 large space artifacts, over 2,000 smaller items as of June 1, 2007.[31]

Needle at Air and Space Mus. at D.C

Ad Astra ("to the stars"), the sculpture at the entrance to the building

US Navy 070516-N-6724S-049 Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Davida Edwards examines the Apollo 11 Command Module in the lobby of the National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11 command module

National Air and Space Museum Rockets

Soviet SS-20 and U.S. Pershing II missiles

The space suit worn by David Scott on Apollo 15

NationalAirAndSpaceMuseum 10290004

Ballistic missiles


Replica of lunar space suit


Side view of a former Northwest Boeing 747-100B


Lockheed U-2 and a spacecraft

Hindenburg Model

25-foot long model of the LZ 129 Hindenburg used in the 1975 movie The Hindenburg


Chicago the first aircraft to fly around the world

Breitling Orbiter Side

The Breitling Orbiter 3, in which Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones achieved the first non-stop balloon circumnavigation of the world in 1999.

Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory

The Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory opened its doors to the public in 2009 as part of the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. It has a 16-inch Boller & Chivens telescope, a Sun Gun Telescope and hydrogen-alpha (red light, to see the chromosphere) and calcium-K (purple light) telescopes. The observatory opens to public from Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 3 P.M. and is open about once a month at night time.


The museum has four research fellowships: Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History (also known as the Lindbergh Chair,) the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Fellowship, the Verville Fellowship, and the Postdoctoral Earth and Planetary Sciences Fellowship.[32] The Lindbergh Chair is a one-year senior fellowship to assist a scholar in the research and composition of a book about aerospace history. Announced in 1977 at the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh's famous solo flight,[33] 1978 was the first year that the Lindbergh Chair was occupied—British aviation historian Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith was selected as the first recipient.[34]

See also


  1. ^ The marble was backed with spray-foam insulation, which insufficiently blocked water and air and worsened the extensive fracturing. The marble cannot be repaired without irreversibly damaging the insulation behind it, which necessitates the replacement of the entire façade.[13]
  2. ^ The Smithsonian considered using "Echo Lake granite" quarried near Ely, Minnesota; ceramic tile; and titanium tile for the façade, but settled on Tennessee marble because it matches the original and provides a good balance between durability, strength, and weight. The new panels will be 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) thick, whereas the existing panels are 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.[13]


  1. ^ "Visitor Statistics". Smithsonian Newsdesk. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. ^ Browne, Christopher U. (6 April 2018). "Welcoming Our New Director, Dr. Ellen Stofan". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. ^ The World's 20 most popular museums,, 22 June 2017
  4. ^ Scott, Pamela; Lee, Antoinette J. (1993). "The Mall". Buildings of the District of Columbia. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 91. ISBN 0-19-509389-5.
  5. ^ A Guide to Smithsonian Architecture. Smithsonian Institution. 2005 [2006]. p. 15.
  6. ^ Peck, Garrett (2015). Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet. Charleston, SC: The History Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-1626199736.
  7. ^ "National Air and Space Museum Chronology". National Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  8. ^ "History of the National Air and Space Museum". National Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "From Kites to the Space Shuttle, A History of the National Air and Space Museum". Air and Space. January 2011.
  10. ^ "National Air and Space Museum and Udvar-Hazy Center". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Museum in DC". History. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Boyle, Katherine. "Air and Space Museum's 'Milestones of Flight' Gallery Begins Two-Year Renovation." Washington Post. April 3, 2014. Archived April 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2014-04-03.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Neibauer, Michael (June 30, 2015). "The Air and Space Museum is falling apart. We've got the details on the $365M fix". Washington Business Journal. Archived from the original on August 26, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  14. ^ a b McGlone, Peggy (June 22, 2016). "Air and Space Museum's Makeover Estimated at $1 Billion". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 23, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Los Angeles Times, May 3rd, 1995, p. 21". 1995-05-03. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  16. ^ Sanger, David E. (1995-08-06). "TRAVEL ADVISORY: CORRESPONDENT'S REPORT; Enola Gay and Little Boy, Exactly 50 Years Later". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  17. ^ "Chronology of the Controversy". Enola Gay Archive. Air Force Archived from the original on 2012-08-07. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  18. ^ "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. October 8, 2011. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011.
  19. ^ "Man fires pepper spray on protesters outside Marine's funeral". CNN. August 28, 2010. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "Protests shut D.C. Air & Space museum - US news - Life -". MSNBC. 2011-10-08. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  21. ^ Brown, Emma (October 9, 2011). "Blog". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011.
  22. ^ Lazlo, Matt (December 5, 2013). "Fast Food Workers Protest Wages At Air And Space Museum". Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Smithsonian fast-food workers strike over minimum wage". December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  24. ^ Berman, Matt (December 13, 2013). "Smithsonian looking into incident involving photojournalist at Air and Space Museum". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  25. ^ Hughes, Sarah Anne (December 6, 2013). "Interview/Photo: Smithsonian Guards Grab Photographer Shooting Protest Inside Air and Space Museum". DCist. Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  26. ^ a b c d Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution, Record Unit 330: Series 1 Archived 2008-12-07 at the Wayback Machine., National Air and Space Museum, Records, 1912-1971
  27. ^ a b c d e f Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution, Record Unit 338 Archived 2008-12-07 at the Wayback Machine., National Air and Space Museum, Records, circa 1972-1989
  28. ^ a b "National Air and Space Museum, Office of the Director - Agency History". 2002-08-29. Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  29. ^ "Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Director Announces Retirement". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Institution. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  30. ^ Browne, Christopher U. (6 April 2018). "Welcoming Our New Director, Dr. Ellen Stofan". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Building on the National Mall Fact Sheet". National Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on May 9, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  32. ^ "National Air and Space Museum Research Fellowships". Get Involved: Internships & Fellowships. National Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  33. ^ "National Air and Space Museum Press Kit: The Smithsonian and Flight". Press Room. National Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  34. ^ "Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith", Staff Obituaries, Victoria and Albert Museum, archived from the original on January 15, 2011, retrieved May 26, 2011, Reproduced with kind permission of The Times ©Times Newspapers Limited

External links

Continuum (sculpture)

Continuum is a public artwork by American sculptor Charles O. Perry located in front of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, United States.

Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement

The Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) is the instrument designed to correct Hubble Space Telescope's spherical aberration for light focused at the FOC, FOS and GHRS instruments. Built by Ball Aerospace Corp., it replaced the High Speed Photometer (HSP) during the first Hubble Servicing Mission in 1993.Later instruments, installed after HST's initial deployment, were designed with their own corrective optics. COSTAR was removed from HST in 2009 during the fifth servicing mission and replaced by the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. It is now on exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Cosmic Voyage

Cosmic Voyage is a 1996 short documentary film produced in the IMAX format, directed by Bayley Silleck, produced by Jeffrey Marvin, and narrated by Morgan Freeman. The film was presented by the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum,

and played in IMAX theaters worldwide. The film is available in the DVD format.

Donatos Pizza

Donatos Pizza is a pizza delivery restaurant franchisor headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It has nearly 200 locations in ten states, with the majority of locations in Ohio. Donatos is also served at several venue outlets including Ohio Stadium and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Enola Gay

The Enola Gay () is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets. On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb. The bomb, code-named "Little Boy", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused the near-complete destruction of the city. Enola Gay participated in the second atomic attack as the weather reconnaissance aircraft for the primary target of Kokura. Clouds and drifting smoke resulted in a secondary target, Nagasaki, being bombed instead.

After the war, the Enola Gay returned to the United States, where it was operated from Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico. In May 1946, it was flown to Kwajalein for the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests in the Pacific, but was not chosen to make the test drop at Bikini Atoll. Later that year it was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution, and spent many years parked at air bases exposed to the weather and souvenir hunters, before being disassembled and transported to the Smithsonian's storage facility at Suitland, Maryland, in 1961.

In the 1980s, veterans groups engaged in a call for the Smithsonian to put the aircraft on display, leading to an acrimonious debate about exhibiting the aircraft without a proper historical context. The cockpit and nose section of the aircraft were exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in downtown Washington, D.C., for the bombing's 50th anniversary in 1995, amid controversy. Since 2003, the entire restored B-29 has been on display at NASM's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The last survivor of its crew, Theodore Van Kirk, died on 28 July 2014 at the age of 93.

Faint Object Spectrograph

The Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) was a spectrograph installed on the Hubble Space Telescope. It was replaced by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph in 1997, and is now on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope

The Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) was a space telescope designed to make spectroscopic observations in the far-ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. It was flown into orbit on the Space Shuttle and operated from the Shuttle's payload bay on two occasions: in December 1990, as part of Shuttle mission STS-35, and in March 1995, as part of mission STS-67.HUT was designed and built by a team based at Johns Hopkins University, led by Arthur Davidsen. The telescope consisted of a 90 cm main mirror used to focus ultraviolet light onto a spectrograph situated at the prime focus. This instrument had a spectroscopic range of 82.5 to 185 nms, and a spectral resolution of about 0.3 nm.

It weighed 789 kilograms (1736 pounds).HUT was used to observe a wide range of astrophysical sources, including supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, cataclysmic variable stars, as well as various planets in the Solar System. During the 1990 flight, HUT was used to make 106 observations of 77 astronomical targets. During the 1995 flight, 385 observations were made of 265 targets.HUT was co-mounted with WUPPE, HIT, and BBXRT on the Astro-1 mission (1990) and with just WUPPE and HIT on Astro-2 (in 1995).HUT is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. in the United States.

John R. Dailey

John Revell "Jack" Dailey (born February 17, 1934) is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general who served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) and Chief of Staff from 1990 to 1992, Acting Associate Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1992 to 1999; and director of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) from 2000 to 2018.

His career in the Marine Corps spanned thirty-six years and included a wide variety of operational and staff assignments. He is a pilot with over 7000 hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. He has extensive command experience including the Marine Corps Systems Command and the Armed Forces Staff College. He flew 450 missions during two tours in Vietnam and has numerous personal decorations which he received for combat operations.

Keith Ferris

Keith Ferris (born May 14, 1929, Honolulu, Hawaii) is an aviation artist whose work is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of the US Air Force and has been cited as the “Dean of American Aviation Art”. His work in aircraft camouflage has transformed the approach to painting US military aircraft.

Liberty L-8

The Liberty L-8 (also known as the Packard 1A-1100) was a prototype of the Liberty L-12 engine designed by Jesse Vincent and Elbert Hall. Fifteen L-8 prototypes were manufactured by several companies including Buick, Ford, Lincoln, Marmon, and Packard in 1917. The first of those built now resides in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., while fifteenth L-8 (the only running example) powers Liberty the Second housed by the Conneaut Lake Historical Society in Conneaut Lake, PA. Another L-8 is stored at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH.

List of Apollo missions

The Apollo program was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which accomplished landing the first humans on the Moon from 1969 to 1972. During the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their lunar module (LM) and walked on the lunar surface, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command and service module (CSM), and all three landed safely on Earth on July 24, 1969. Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six spaceflights, twelve men walked on the Moon. Apollo ran from 1961 to 1972, with the first manned flight in 1968. It achieved its goal of manned lunar landing, despite the major setback of a 1967 Apollo 1 cabin fire that killed the entire crew during a prelaunch test. After the first landing, sufficient flight hardware remained for nine follow-up landings with a plan for extended lunar geological and astrophysical exploration. Budget cuts forced the cancellation of three of these. Five of the remaining six missions achieved successful landings, but the Apollo 13 landing was prevented by an oxygen tank explosion in transit to the Moon, which damaged the CSM's propulsion and life support. The crew returned to Earth safely by using the Lunar Module as a "lifeboat" for these functions. Apollo used Saturn family rockets as launch vehicles, which were also used for an Apollo Applications Program, which consisted of Skylab, a space station that supported three manned missions from 1973 through 1974, and the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, a joint Earth orbit mission with the Soviet Union in 1975.

Apollo set several major human spaceflight milestones. It stands alone in sending manned missions beyond low Earth orbit. Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to orbit another celestial body, while the final Apollo 17 mission marked the sixth Moon landing and the ninth manned mission beyond low Earth orbit. The program returned 842 pounds (382 kg) of lunar rocks and soil to Earth, greatly contributing to the understanding of the Moon's composition and geological history. The program laid the foundation for NASA's subsequent human spaceflight capability. Apollo also spurred advances in many areas of technology incidental to rocketry and manned spaceflight, including avionics, telecommunications, and computers.The Apollo program used four types of launch vehicles. The first was the Little Joe II, which was used for unmanned suborbital launch escape system development. The second is the Saturn I, which was used for unmanned suborbital and orbital hardware development. The third is the Saturn IB which was used for preparatory unmanned missions and Apollo 7. Last, the Saturn V which was used for unmanned and manned earth orbit and lunar missions. The Marshall Space Flight Center, which designed the Saturn rockets, referred to the flights as Saturn-Apollo (SA), while Kennedy Space Center referred to the flights as Apollo-Saturn (AS). This is why the unmanned Saturn I flights are referred to as SA and the unmanned Saturn IB are referred to as AS.

List of aircraft in the Smithsonian Institution

The List of aircraft in the Smithsonian Institution includes aircraft exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility. The Smithsonian Institution's collection of aircraft and spacecraft is the largest on display in the world.

Lockheed XC-35

The Lockheed XC-35 is a twin-engine, experimental pressurized airplane. It was the second American aircraft to feature cabin pressurization. It was initially described as a 'supercharged cabin' by the Army. The distinction of the world's first pressurized aircraft goes to a heavily modified Engineering Division USD-9A which flew in the United States in 1921. The XC-35 was a development of the Lockheed Model 10 Electra that was designed to meet a 1935 request by the United States Army Air Corps for an aircraft with a pressurized cabin.

Pioneer H

Pioneer H is an unlaunched unmanned space mission that was part of the US Pioneer program for a planned 1974 launch. Had this mission and spacecraft been launched, it would have been designated Pioneer 12; that designation was later applied to the Pioneer Venus Orbiter.

Sonex Aircraft

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is an American aircraft kit manufacturer located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, producing kits for four all-metal homebuilt monoplanes. The company is led by John Monnett who has designed the Monnett Sonerai sport aircraft series, Monnett Monerai sailplane, Monnett Moni motorglider, and Monnett Monex racer. Monnett designs are displayed in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum near Washington D.C.

In June 2018 John Monnett announced that he will retire and sell the company.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, also called the Udvar-Hazy Center, is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)'s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. It holds numerous exhibits, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay.

The 760,000-square-foot (71,000 m2) facility was made possible by a $65 million gift in October 1999 to the Smithsonian Institution by Steven F. Udvar-Házy, an immigrant from Hungary and co-founder of the International Lease Finance Corporation, an aircraft leasing corporation. The main NASM building, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, had always contained more artifacts than could be displayed, and most of the collection had been stored, unavailable to visitors, at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Silver Hill, Maryland. A substantial addition to the center encompassing restoration, conservation and collection-storage facilities was completed in 2010. Restoration facilities and museum archives were moved from the museum's Garber facility to the new sections of the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Surveyor program

The Surveyor program was a NASA program that, from June 1966 through January 1968, sent seven robotic spacecraft to the surface of the Moon. Its primary goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of soft landings on the Moon. The Surveyor craft were the first American spacecraft to achieve soft landing on an extraterrestrial body. The missions called for the craft to travel directly to the Moon on an impact trajectory, a journey that lasted 63 to 65 hours, and ended with a deceleration of just over three minutes to a soft landing. The program was implemented by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to prepare for the Apollo program. JPL selected Hughes Aircraft to develop the spacecraft system. The total cost of the Surveyor program was officially $469 million.

Five of the Surveyor craft successfully soft-landed on the Moon, including the first one. The other two failed: Surveyor 2 crashed at high velocity after a failed mid-course correction, and Surveyor 4 was lost to contact (possibly exploding) 2.5 minutes before its scheduled touch-down.

All seven spacecraft are still on the Moon; none of the missions included returning them to Earth. Some parts of Surveyor 3 were returned to Earth by the crew of Apollo 12, which landed near it in 1969. The camera from this craft is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Walter J. Boyne

Walter J. Boyne (born 1929) is a retired United States Air Force officer, Command Pilot, combat veteran, aviation historian, and author of more than 50 books and over 1,000 magazine articles. He is a former director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and a former Chairman of the National Aeronautic Association.

Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2

The Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) is a camera formerly installed on the Hubble Space Telescope. The camera was built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is roughly the size of a baby grand piano. It was installed by servicing mission 1 (STS-61) in 1993, replacing the telescope's original Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WF/PC). WFPC2 was used to image the Hubble Deep Field in 1995, the Hourglass Nebula and Egg Nebula in 1996, and the Hubble Deep Field South in 1998. During STS-125, WFPC2 was removed and replaced with the Wide Field Camera 3 as part of the mission's first spacewalk on May 14, 2009. After returning to Earth, the camera was displayed briefly at the National Air and Space Museum and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before returning to its final home at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

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