Museums

National Air and Space Museum Washington

Where is it at?

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National Air and Space Museum
600 Independance Avenue Southwest
Washington
DC
DC 20560
Tel: 202 633 1000

Where are we going today?

Hundreds of artifacts on display including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 command module, and a lunar rock sample that visitors can touch. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center displays many more artifacts including the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay and Space Shuttle Enterprise
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What people are saying?

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    Fascinating stuff. Could spend days there. Macky Dee's not so good.

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    I've been here twice so far, once for a company holiday party and once with my parents. This is a really great museum that's a (somewhat long) stone's throw from D.C. Although there is no admission fee, parking is $15 per vehicle. However, if you enter the museum after 4pm, parking is free! Also, if you're just dropping people off at the museum, you can get a refund. Even so, I consider the $15 parking fee to be worth it especially considering the many exhibits inside this museum and the fact that the other Smithsonian museums in D.C. are all free...Read More

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    This is a great museum, with well-designed displays, if a rather eclectic collection. It's wall-to-wall airplanes, including a Concorde, the Blackbird and the Shuttle Discovery. The air traffic control tower was fun, and it was cool to hear live traffic and watch the planes taking off from Dulles. My only complaint was the only food available on site was McDonalds. That was not an option for us, but being able to leave (for lunch) and come back without having to pay parking again was great.

    This is a must-see for air and space enthusiasts.

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    This is one of the best museums to visit in the DC area. The only bad part about it is that it costs $15 to park your car there. The best bet is to pile into 1 car and go that way. I have been there many times and it never gets old. In fact, this is about 1000x better than the Air and Space museum in DC!

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    Only fee you have to pay is $15 to park. Museum entrance is free. Of course they offer opportunities to pay more money... Imax, simulators, food. Advice... Observation tower closes at 4:30, even though museum is open later. Don't miss that bc of poor planning.

    The museum gets much quieter at 4:00 or so. If you want to see it without the crowds, hang around until leave.

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by Alice Wang

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I've been here twice so far, once for a company holiday party and once with my parents. This is a really great museum that's a (somewhat long) stone's throw from D.C. Although there is no admission fee, parking is $15 per vehicle. However, if you enter the museum after 4pm, parking is free! Also, if you're just dropping people off at the museum, you can get a refund. Even so, I consider the $15 parking fee to be worth it especially considering the many exhibits inside this museum and the fact that the other Smithsonian museums in D.C. are all free of admission.

As most people know, this museum is the companion facility to the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. It's located in Chantilly, VA, close to Dulles International Airport. It features two large hangars - the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James McDonnell Space Hangar. There are thousands of air and spacecraft here, with the most famous probably being the Discovery space shuttle. This museum also has an Airbus IMAX theater and an observation tower which gives you a view of the airport and the surrounding area. FYI, the observation tower closes at 4:30pm while the museum closes at 5:30pm.

I think they did a great job of organizing the exhibits and spacing out the artifacts. Everywhere you turn, there may be a plane, glider, helicopter on the ground or suspended in the air. From the early days of flight to commercial aviation and human spaceflight, the exhibits take you on a historical journey of space and flight. The human spaceflight exhibit is a very popular one, containing lunar modules, rocket engines, pressure suits, capsules, and of course, the Discovery space shuttle. Another renowned aircraft is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, which you'll see as the first aircraft on the ground once you pass security and enter into the Boeing Aviation Hangar. It is a formidable presence in the museum and an aircraft you can't simply glance over.

In addition to all the various air/spacecraft, there are also aviation electronics, military uniforms and personal items, a collection of rockets and missiles including German World War II artifacts, and pins and insignia. There are also simulators you can ride. You can take a free docent tour which lasts 90 minutes. Some of these guides are former NASA employees and pilots who flew some of the aircraft in the museum collection. If you want to watch an IMAX movie, it's $9/adult, $8/senior, and $7.50/child.

I highly recommend this museum if you're a fan of aviation and space. It's a great companion to the Air & Space Museum on the National Mall so if you liked that museum and want to see more, this is definitely the perfect counterpart. Currently, you need to either drive, taxi, or take a bus over to this location.

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