The National Air and Space Museum

Image Number: 2006-6405 | Credit: Photo by Eric Long/NASM

The National Air and Space Museum’s two display facilities, the National Mall Building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly Virginia, maintains the largest collection of air- and spacecraft in the world including icons of flight such as the original 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1, John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft, the Apollo 11 command module, and a lunar rock sample that visitors can touch. NASM has roughly 50,000 objects ranging in size from Saturn V rockets to space helmets and microchips. Since opening, the building on the Mall has been the most visited museum facility in the world, attracting on average more than nine million people annually. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., which opened in December 2003, permits the display of many more artifacts in an open, hangar-like setting, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, the "Dash 80" prototype for the 707, the sole-surviving Boeing 307 Stratoliner and space shuttle Enterprise.

Web PageTo learn more about the National Air and Space Museum, visit the website at:


PDFSee a map of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center



National Air and Space Museum Research

National Air and Space Museum is a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. In addition to divisions of Aeronautics and Space History, as well as an Archives and Library, It is also home to the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, which performs original research and outreach activities on topics covering planetary science, terrestrial geophysics and the remote sensing of environmental change. The scope of research activities includes work on Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and some satellites of the outer solar system, as well as corresponding field studies in terrestrial analog regions. CEPS staff study a variety of geological processes, such as volcanism, floods, cratering, tectonics, and sand movement. Many of the terrestrial studies also address topics of current concern for global climate change.

Check out all the exciting research at the museum by visiting the division websites:

Web PageCenter for Earth and Planetary Studies Division research



Web PageSpace History Division



Web PageAeronautics Division research



Web PagePeeling Back the Curtain: The Assembly of Space Fiction Toys Case





If this conference interests you, don’t miss the 2010 National Air and Space Museum Trophy On-Line Conference, also on April 28th 2010

The National Air and Space Museum is conducting an on-line conference similar to this one, showcasing the accomplishments of the winners of the Museum’s 2010 Trophy Award: Dr. Christopher Kraft of NASA and the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 crew. The overarching theme for the Trophy OLC is also “problem solving,” as is the theme of this set of OLC’s, all within a “STEM” education context (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Check it out at:


Dr. Margaret Weitekamp

Dr. Margaret Weitekamp curates the Museum’s social and cultural dimensions of spaceflight collection, more than 4,000 artifacts that include space memorabilia and space science fiction objects. These everyday mementos of the space age – which include toys and games, clothing and stamps, medals and awards, buttons and pins, as well as comics and trading cards – complete the story about spaceflight told by the Museum’s collection of space hardware and technologies.

Check out her Museum webpage at:

Don’t forget to check out her book, Right Stuff Wrong Sex: America’s First Women in Space Program, winner of the 2004 Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature from the American Astronautical Society: