U.S. National Air and Space Museum opened after renovation
After four years of renovations and several months of complete closure, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., reopens its doors to the public Oct. 14. The museum has been closed for renovations that will last until 2025 and today, curators say, it is “launching into orbit” eight new galleries in the west wing.
The world’s largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft closed for a billion-dollar renovation in 2018. Starting today, Washington, D.C., residents and visitors can visit eight new galleries featuring exclusive artifacts: airplanes, spacecraft, rockets, exhibits about the moon landing and more.
Gary, the first visitor to the newly opened museum, says:
“I’m from Colorado myself, and I came to the capital with my family. I know there are Wright Brothers airplanes in the museum. I really want to see them; I was here when I was 10 years old, and I came back again to see them. I remember liking it so much that I always wanted to go back.”
Shannon, a resident of Capital City, says she has “lived near here all my life. I remember coming to these museums on National Alley for field trips with my school. Going back to this museum again after a long time of closure is very exciting!”
Mitch first visited the museum “in 1976 when it first opened. So I’m very excited about reopening today, but it would have been great if they had opened the whole museum at once instead of in parts. I’m a fan of World War II history, I want to see the fighters.”
Jameson says he was also at the museum for the first time “30 or 40 years ago. Today is also the anniversary: that’s the day pilot Charles Yeager broke the sound barrier. It wasn’t hard to book tickets, but we changed our return tickets for the sake of it. We’re from Nashville, Tennessee, ourselves, and were supposed to leave yesterday, but we stayed for the museum!”
Beckem, who came to the museum opening with his mother and younger brother, says:
“This is our first time in Washington. I heard the museum had been closed for about two years. I think it’s going to be really interesting there, judging by the pictures, it’s really cool. Space is amazing. We’ve only explored 1 percent of it! There’s so much more to it! I would love to be an astronaut!”
The Museum also has exhibits that will appeal to space travel dreamers and movie buffs: for example, you can see the original fighter jet used in the Star Wars movies.
Museum curators hope that the updated galleries will inspire a new generation of aviators, astronauts and scientists. Admission to the museum, like the others here on National Alley, is free.