The National Air and Space Museum has two locations – the National Mall building in downtown Washington, DC and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport. You can find information to plan your trip at the official web site.
The location near Washington Dulles International Airport opened in December, 2003, and has hangars with enough space for the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that do not fit at the Museum in Washington, DC, such as the space shuttle Discovery, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird which the fastest jet in the world, the Boeing Dash 80 which was the prototype of the 707, and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay.
The location on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. features the Wright 1903 Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, a sputnik satellite, a full-size replica of the Hubble space telescope, and many World War 2 airplanes. The DC museum has 22 exhibition galleries, an IMAX Theater, flight simulators and a museum shop. Many of the exhibits have displays that can be manipulated by visitors to demonstrate the effects of air flow, flight control, and many other scientific principles. Below are pictures of some of the exhibits in the DC Air and Space Museum.
The Spirit of St. Louis is suspended from the ceiling in the National Air and Space Museum's Milestones of Flight gallery. The custom-built monoplane was flown by Charles Lindbergh on May 20-21, 1927 on the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. The airplane has a 46-foot wingspan and a capacity for 425 gallons of fuel in five different fuel tanks. Lindbergh's historic flight caused great excitement and opened the era of commercial transatlantic air traffic.
The Spitfire was a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries throughout the Second World War.
Germany produced the V-2 rocket during World War 2. The rocket was a liquid-propellant combat ballistic missile used to target London and Antwerp. Approximately 9000 casualties are attributed to its use. The technical design of the V-2 was the basis for many of the rockets developed later by the United States and the Soviet Union. Wernher von Braun was one of the leading aerospace engineers that developed the rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War 2. After his surrender to the American forces, von Braun started a carrer in rocketry in the United States. He worked on the design of the F-1 engines of the Saturn V rocket that made it possible for six teams of astronauts to land on the Moon.
Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. The transmission of radio beeps as it orbited the Earth shocked the world and precipitated an era of technological and scientific achievements that led to space exploration and several manned Moon landing missions.
The Experimental flight Soyuz-Apollo, in July 1975, was the first joint U.S.–Soviet space flight, and the last flight of an Apollo spacecraft. The main purpose of the mission was as a symbol that the two superpowers were more interested in cooperation than in the policy of mutual destruction that was professed during the cold war. The experimental flight also established standards for interlocking space modules for possible rescue missions.