The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution also called the Air and Space Museum, is a museum in Washington, D.C., US. 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 2018, the museum saw approximately 6.2 million visitors, making it the fifth most visited museum in the world and the second most visited museum in the United States. In 2020, due to long closures and a drop in foreign tourism caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, museum attendance dropped to 267,000. The museum contains the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, the Friendship 7 capsule which John Glenn flew, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1, which broke the sound barrier, the model of the starship Enterprise used in the science fiction television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and the Wright brothers Wright Flyer airplane near the entrance.
The National Air and Space Museum is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight, planetary science, 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, encompassing 760,000 square feet (71,000 m2). The museum conducted the restoration of its collection at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland, as of 2014, while moving restoration and archival activities into the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy annex. As of April 2022, the DC museum is temporarily closed for a major renovation, while the Steven F. Udbar-Hazy Center remains open.
National Air Museum
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. 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 exhibitors that shipping them home would be too costly. The Stringfellow steam engine intended for aircraft was added to the collection in 1989, the first piece actively acquired by the Smithsonian in the current NASM collection. EZ DC Junk Removal
Because of the museum’s 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. 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.
Address: 600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC
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