National Air & Space Museum


Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Emily Marie on December 31, 2004

This is my favorite museum on the Mall and possibly in the world. Every trip this is one of my first stops in D.C. and it never gets tiring for me. Part of it is that I'm still a kid at heart and all these planes and space vehicles just help to remind me of that. I still dream of going into space one day, and seeing these things just excites me.

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.

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
Independence Avenue At 4th Street SW
Washington, DC

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