The National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington D.C., has hundreds of original, historic artifacts on display including the Wright 1903 Flyer; the Spirit of St. Louis; the Apollo 11 command module Columbia; and a Lunar rock sample that visitors can touch.
The Museum offers 22 exhibition galleries, the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater (ticket cost not included), flight simulators, a three-level Museum shop, and a food-court-style restaurant.
A favorite gallery for children is How Things Fly – the place for hands-on action including fascinating science demonstrations; paper airplane contests; and 50 exciting interactive devices.
Experience the early history of the airplane – from some of the earliest notions of flying through the decade of powered flight in the Early Flight gallery.
Visitors can get a close-up view of the original 1903 Wright Flyer and 170 other related artifacts in The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age. After the exhibition closes, the Flyer will return to its usual hanging position in the Milestones of Flight gallery.
The history of human space exploration is detailed in two exhibitions. To learn about the American and Soviet competition, visit Space Race, where artifacts on display include the V2 ballistic missile, a full-size Hubble Space telescope test vehicle, and the back-up skylab space station that visitors can walk through.
The story of America’s effort to land a human on the Moon is told in Apollo to the Moon, where the original space suits worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon are displayed.
The Museum on the National Mall also features several exhibitions covering Earth and planetary studies. Looking at Earth shows visitors how views of our planet from above have helped us to better understand the Earth. Examples of satellite imagery and aerial photography are on display.
Exploring the Planets highlights the history and achievements of planetary explorations, both Earth-based and by spacecraft. On display here is a full-scale replica of the Voyager spacecraft which traveled to the outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Explore the Universe demonstrates the various methods used by humankind to observe the skies throughout the ages, starting with the naked eye, through telescopes, and finally into the digital age.