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must-see in the US capital

The Air and Space Museum in Washington (National Air and Space Museum) is one of several amazing free museums in the capital of the United States.

A delightful museum to visit and that pleases children and adults alike. It’s not just for those who love history and technology, so much so that it’s the most popular museum in Washington (over 6 million visitors a year).

If you had little time to tour Washington and needed to select one just to visit, I would definitely choose this museum.

Press play and read the post with the musical track (in the end you will understand why this song):

Over the National Air and Space Museum in Washington

The National Air and Space Museum has a collection of over 60,000 objects. However, only 20% is on display at the museum (which is a lot, isn’t it?). The rest is on loan with other institutions or on file.

Museum entrance hall. See how busy the museum is!

The Air and Space Museum in Washington is part of the Smithsonian’s museum complex, which encompasses 17 wonderful institutions such as:

  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Zoo – National Zoo

Opened in 1976, the museum is located on the National Mall, close to the Capitol, the American Congress.

Highlights of the Washington Air and Space Museum

The Washington Air and Space Museum takes us on a journey through air and space (of course!), showcasing the technological achievements of the last century. We have a complete picture of this evolution.

The collection is very vast, with several environments to visit. To make it easier, I’ve made a short list of some of the top items on display, in my humble opinion:

1903 Wright Flyer

The first aircraft built by the Wright Brothers in 1903, which they flew 4 times in December of that year. It is she who causes all the controversy with Santos Dumont’s 14 Bis. Who flew first?

About this, I recommend reading this article from Aventuras na História about the dispute over who created the plane.

plane irmas wright smithsonian - Washington DC Air and Space Museum: a must see in the US capital
The original plane. In 1985 there was a restoration of the tissues, hence the new appearance.

Santos Dumont is a footnote in the museum… it took me a long time to find mention of him. I was already getting angry with the neglect when I finally found it in a corner. This made me very upset during the visit.

santos dumont information museum air space%CC%A7o - Museum of Air and Space Washington DC: a must see in the US capital
In a corner, at the very end of a mural… regrettable, right?

See too:

Spirit of St. Louis

The monoplane of the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, who made the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris.

Lockheed Vega 5B

Amelia Earhart was a pioneering woman in aviation and an activist in the fight for women’s rights.

air space museum smithsonian emila aviao - Air and Space Museum Washington DC: a must see in the US capital
The amazing Amelia and her plane.

On that aircraft, in 1932, she was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (and the second person to do the feat, the first being the Charles Lindebergh I mentioned above).

Also on the Lockheed Vega 5B, Amelia was the first to fly nonstop across the United States.

Apollo 11 command module

Simply part of the spacecraft that first took man to the Moon! Only that!!

apollo module 11 lua - Washington DC Air and Space Museum: a must see in the US capital
The command module. What courage to go into space in this fragile business.

Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong costume

Another piece from the Apollo 11 mission collection. The suit worn by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon.

apollo costume 11 neil armstrong air and space museum washington - Washington DC Air and Space Museum: a must-see in the US capital
The costume.

Moon stone

Can you imagine touching a little piece of the moon? Here you can!

Star Trek Enterprise

A mockup of Enterprise used in the classic TV series. My nerdy heart beat soooo hard!

enterprise replica mockup - Washington DC Air and Space Museum: a must-see in the US capital
Where no man has ever been!

Other Activities at the Air and Space Museum in Washington

In addition to enjoying the pieces of the collection, we find in this museum IMAX cinema, observatory and simulators.

Of course, there is that little shop to buy a souvenir.

einstein doll smithsonian museum washington dc - Washington DC Air and Space Museum: a must see in the US capital
Cute, huh?

Practical information from the Air and Space Museum in Washington

  • addresso: 655 Jefferson Drive, SW Washington
  • time: from 10 am to 5:30 pm (currently closed due to covid-19)
  • value: free of charge
  • how to get: metro, L’Enfant Plaza station. Bus (metrobus), lines 32, 34 and 36. Circulator, National Mall line.
  • unmissable: my entire list of top attractions
  • site: airandspace.si.edu/visit/museum-dc
what to do washington dc museum air space%CC%A7o - Air and Space Museum Washington DC: a must see in the US capital
Huge rockets!

Conclusion: Air and Space Museum in Washington

The Air and Space Museum in Washington cannot be left out of your travel itinerary in the capital of the United States. Trust me!

Remember if:

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Do you already know this museum? Leave your questions and comments, I will be happy to answer.

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