The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Reopens

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., reopened in October with eight newly renovated galleries in the west wing.

The exhibitions utilize creative and dynamic techniques to engage visitors while they are visiting the museum and after they leave through nearly 100 interactive and digital experiences. The exhibitions include “America by Air,” “Destination Moon,” “Early Flight,” “Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery,” “Nation of Speed,” “One World Connected,” “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly,” and “Wright Brothers & the Invention of the Aerial Age.”

The renovated museum will feature hundreds of new artifacts such as the WR-3 air racer built by Neal Loving, the first African American certified to race airplanes; a T-38 flown by Jackie Cochran, the first woman to break the sound barrier; and Sean Tucker’s custom-built aerobatic biplane, the Aviation Specialties Unlimited Challenger III. The planetarium had upgrades to its technology and include new screencast abilities that allow connection with planetariums around the country and expands the museum’s reach.

The National Air and Space Museum has been undergoing a seven-year renovation that began in 2018 and includes redesigning of “all 23 exhibitions and presentation spaces, complete refacing of the exterior cladding, replacement of outdated mechanical systems and other repairs and improvements.” The renovation project is expected to be completed in 2025.

For more information, visit the National Air and Space Museum’s website.