Results 11-20of 21 Reviews
by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
December 31, 2004
My favorite parts: The WW II room, with some of the planes from the war, and The Air at Sea area, which is set up like an aircraft carrier, including a mock-up of a conning tower. There is one room that describes how planes work. In this area, visitors can use computers to design their own aircraft. There's also a video running continuously here of Sid Ceasar and Imogene Cocoa from "Your Show of Shows," depicting the breaking of the sound barrier. It's a classic clip. There's one room dedicated to the moon missions and all the pre-shuttle missions, with a description of all the missions and crews. Here they also have a booster cone from a Saturn V rocket, and with mirrors; the museum does a good job showing visitors the enormity of the booster used to deliver men to the moon. There are Apollo units and Soyuz capsules that never made it into space, as well as the actual capsule Friendship 7, which was John Glenn's spaceship. One of my ultimate favorite things is actually in the lower level of the gift shop: The original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the "Star Trek" TV show. It used to be in another favorite room that compared fact to fiction and brainstorming to reality. So many objects I've read about and cherished are all in this one building. Over the years, there have been slight changes and some great temporary exhibits, but in the end, the permanent items are the ones that really fancy my imagination.
From journal Lincoln Bedroom? Yeah, right.
April 27, 2004
We drove in after lunch; free parking along the Mall can be TIGHT. The museum closes at 5pm, but a lot of parking spots open up around 3pm. Some Government employees will work 6am-3pm to minimize the impact of rush hour. That only gives you two hours to visit things, though.
The Metro may be a better deal, though. There are lots of Metro stops in the area.
The outside of the museum has a neat example of the planets. At one end is the Sun. The next stop (it will say how many steps away) is Mercury. Everything is in proportion so you can see the size/distance between each of the planets and the sun.
The museum is full of actual planes, jets, and rockets. There are several different areas one focuses on the planets and what we know about each of them. The Albert Einstein planetarium and flight simulator are fun to see.
Lockheed Martin has an IMAX theater in the museum. If you're going to visit, check out the showings before you go so you don't miss out on a show. Smithsonian Shows
There's a dining area with McDonald's, a pizza place, and Boston Market. Most of the places are priced similar to airport dining options; don't look for a dollar menu. If you're walking on a hot day, there are lots of signs saying NO FOOD or DRINK, but we always have snacks and a bottle of water with us. You don't want to be in DC and need a bottle of water... cha-ching.
You can't visit DC without spending some time on the Mall. If you hit the Mall, the Air & Space Museum is definitely a place to make it to!!
You can see more about the museum at their web site: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum
From journal Visiting Washington DC
by Rose (Bud)
December 7, 2003
If you're interested, you can stay on for the star talk, highlighting the night sky at any place and time of your choosing. In December, after Thanksgiving weekend's rush, we had the planetarium almost to ourselves, and the museum was quiet enough that we could see everything at a relaxed pace.
From journal Decemberin D.C.
November 18, 2003
From journal Washington D.C. The Capitol of a Nation
September 13, 2003
From journal Visit From One Government Town to Another
May 24, 2003
You get 3D glasses as you enter, but these are not the 3D glasses you remember, the red on one side and blue on the other. These use some kind of polarization, so that the movie you see in 3D is in compeltely full color, with no distortion from the 3D capability.
From the moment the credits fly from behind you to the screen, you know you are in for something special. The effects in this movie are incredible. At one point, while the astronauts are floating M and Ms at each other, one comes almost directly into YOUR mouth!!
As for what this movie has to tell: The movie is a history of the International Space Station, with most of the footage having been taken by the astronauts. You can watch them working and living in the station, in space. Sometimes the movie is almost like being in the space station itself. As you watch different crews live and work in the station, you get to almost experience it as well as learn how they put the station together in space.
Of course the views in space are incredible.
I cannot recommend this movie enough.
From journal Wonderful Washington DC
Montgomery City, Missouri
April 13, 2003
From journal Lifetime Learning in D.C.
February 18, 2003
Galleries as of Feb. 2003 include flight simulators, early business air transportation, milestones of flight (the gallery with many famous airplanes hanging), and space race (the gallery with many famous spacecrafts). Walk through the original space station and see Apollo Soyuz.
On the second floor, you can exlore Sea-Air operations, WWI and WWII aviation, the Wright Brothers (coming soon), and "Apollo to the Moon", among others.
May, 2003: We recently revisited the museum, and I have a few things to Add. It's fascinating to just wander among the planes, rockets and spacecraft in the hall. Plan your visit; it's IMPOSSIBLE to do everything unless you devote several days to this museum. It is that full and rich with inforamation and things to do.
We focused on one gallery, exploring the universe, saw one of the IMAX movies, and visited the gift shop during our 3 1/2 hour visit. Exploring the universe is a wonderful history of how we, humanity, have explored our neighbors and gone all the way out to the universe. The first half of it ends up feeling like a history of telescopes, and at the end you get to learn about a dazzling array of technology. This information is presented to you in all kinds of ways, from the historical (some original telescopes and old time astrolabes) to the sophisticated (computer quizzes, infared scanners) to the amusing (Scott Hamilton skates the universe to a song by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame). There is lots here, expecially in the last half of the exhibit, for kids.
We also saw the "Space Station 3D" IMAX film, which I will review separately.
We had lunch in the Wright Place. This used to be a nice restaurant, but it has been taken over by a food court, which offers a McDonald's menu, a handful of Boston Market sandwiches and roast chicken entrees, some pizzas and upstairs, there is a more upscale cafe eatery where you can get gourmet sandwiches, salads, gourmet coffee, fruit smoothies (a great variety), beer and wine. There is also a dessert place that we did not visit.
There is good reason this is the most popular museum in the city.
Closest Metro is Smithsonian Metro Station on the orange and blue lines.
December 13, 2001
To walk inside the Air & Space Museum is to enter a gigantic time capsule. All around you, whether suspended from the ceiling or parked at floor level, the visitor is surrounded by aircraft that each, in its own
unique fashion, represents a mile stone in the history of flight. It's an extraordinary feeling to find yourself in this cavernous room surrounded by so much ground-breaking aviation history.
You look up into the rafters of the building and there, suspended as in amber, is the recumbant figure of Wilbur Wright inside his "1903 Flyer", with which he accomplished the first sustained flight of a heavier-than-air vehicle. It looks fragile and skeletal and just barely air-worthy. Juxtaposed behind him and his craft is the golden, insect-like Pioneer 1 satellite that was the first man-made object to exit our solar system some 70 years later.
You move your head around some more and you see a DC-3, first produced in 1935, perhaps the world's most successful aircraft used for both passengers and freight -- and still flying in isolated places. Or you spot the
TriMotor and the Boeing 247-D, the first successful long-distance airliners, while down on the floor is a DC-6 fuselage that you can walk through. Inside you get a view of the lost elegance that was once
part of flying where windows had curtains, food was served on real china with sterling silver cutlery, and wood and leather were to be seen. No sterile plastic or Saran Wrap here, and no foil packages of salted peanuts, either...
I found myself flashing back to my first flight over the Rockies in a DC-6 when I was a pre-teen; I also remembered flying in a DC-3 and being buffeted by winds just barely above a blizzard over South Dakota when
I was about 9 years old -- and terrified, I might add.
When I noticed the replica of Russia's Sputnik I suspended from the ceiling, I also remembered the shock its launch provoked in the States. Then, when I viewed the charred Mercury capsule, so tiny and so vulnerable
looking -- and it's there, too -- I recalled the flickery black-and-white television images of its launch from what was then Cape Canaveral, and the joy that Astronaut John Glenn had returned safely as the first American to orbit the earth in the capsule he had named Friendship 7.
For me, the experience of the museum is one of walking back in time and into my own past. That so much of American aviation history has been preserved here is a tribute to all those who had the forethought and the drive to make certain that it was all preserved and housed in such beautiful -- and accessible -- surroundings.
From journal Washington, D.C., an American Anomaly
London, United Kingdom
August 10, 2001
From journal The Nation's Capital