The Air & Space Museum is one of the essential stops
on a visit to Washington D.C. It is the most visited Museum in the world for good reason,
as exhibits like the Wright Brothers plane, the Apollo 11 command module, and IMAX
movies never fail to captivate young and old alike.
The Air & Space Museum is the most visited museum in the world (over 8 million
people visit every year), but the cavernous building accommodates the crowds nicely. One
hardly notices how many people are actually in the facility because most are engaged in
viewing the aeronautical treasures that are suspended from the ceiling. Exhibits include
the "Wright Flyer"- the original plane from Kitty Hawk, The Spirit of St. Louis,
and the X-15 - the fastest plane ever built.
Besides the interesting artifacts, the National Air & Space Museum has interactive
stations that will teach you all about the principles flight and aerospace technology. The
"How Things Fly" gallery alone has over fifty interactive displays and will
answer all the questions you've ever had about how those airliners get off the ground.
The National Air & Space Museum also has several new attractions like Earth Today:
A Digital View of Our Dynamic Planet. This fascinating, high-tech display is connected to
satellites and numerous data collection centers around the planet to give real time
depictions of the planet. You can see storms and weather patterns in progress and can even
detect minute earthquakes anywhere in the world.
Kids (and most adults) will want to check out the Langley Theaters IMAX movies
that are projected upon five- story high screens or see one of the shows in the Einstein
Planetarium. Either of these activities will be a welcome break, as on busy days the
museum has few unoccupied places to rest. The show in the planetarium is a bit dry, but
the experience of being in a planetarium makes up for it. Similarly, if youve never
seen an IMAX movie you should take this opportunity to check it out. The Einstein
Planetarium offers a free program on the constellations daily at 3 pm, so this might be
your best opportunity to observe the facility.