The museum's doors reopen Friday, October 14 (above: an early morning view from the exterior of the "America by Air" exhibition) following a seven-month closure due to massive renovations.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

Buckle Up for the Reopening of One of America's Most Popular Museums

An HVAC overhaul led to a total building replacement. Today's must-see National Air and Space Museum adds new stories and new artifacts

Six years after Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the first airplane in 1903, the Army purchased the Wright Military Flyer for $30,000.

After the Wright Brothers Took Flight, They Built the World's First Military Airplane

The 1909 Military Flyer is the centerpiece of the "Early Flight" exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum

Neal V. Loving’s WR-3, shown at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, will move to the redesigned galleries on the National Mall.

The West Wing of the National Air and Space Museum Prepares to Take Flight

The Smithsonian museum reopens to the public, transforming the way we tell the story of aviation

Between March 19 and April 17, 1964, Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock (above: at the start of her journey at Ohio's Port Columbus Airport) flew her single-engine Cessna 180, dubbed "Charlie," solo around the globe setting a world record.

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World?

When the National Air and Space Museum reopens October 14, Geraldine Mock’s Cessna 180 soars in the new exhibition, "We All Fly"

In the upcoming exhibition, "Nation of Speed," the Sharp DR 90 Nemesis (above: museum workers install the aircraft in the new gallery) will go on view when the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum reopens this fall. 

How the Nemesis Air Racers Redefined Speed

For Jon and Patricia Sharp, crafting and flying the sleek airplanes was as much about sport as it was about ingenuity

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

Materials and manufacturing details of the specially made suit of America's first space traveler were extensively analyzed before being prepared for display on a customized mannequin.

The Second Man in Space Had a Wee Wish—That He'd Used the Bathroom Before Blasting Off

Alan B. Shepard's historic Mercury spacesuit undergoes hours of conservation work for its debut when the National Air and Space Museum opens this fall

This fall, visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., can see the glider and other treasures, when the “Early Flight” exhibition opens in the museum's newly transformed west wing.

This Quirky Contraption Lifted 19th-Century Pilots Into the Air for a Short, Exhilarating Glide

The rare Lilienthal glider, one of only a few originals known to exist, is newly conserved and ready for its public debut

"As soon as this idea of aerial application for farming began to take shape, nearly everyone agreed this was the way to go,” says Dorothy Cochrane, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where one of only two known to exist, is on view.

The Little 'Puffer' That Could, and Did, Change an Industry

The Huff-Daland Duster ushered in the era of agriculture aviation

The T-38 Talon that Jacqueline Cochran flew, pictured before its recent restoration.

When Jackie Cochran Flew This Jet, She Broke All Kind of Barriers

The spirited aviator came out of poverty to soar to great heights

“Despite taking place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars introduced generations of fans here on Earth to outer space as a setting for adventure and exploration,” says the museum's Margaret Weitekamp.

Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter Lands at the National Air and Space Museum

Udvar-Hazy visitors can watch conservators give the film prop a careful exam before it goes on view in 2022

In 1891, Samuel P. Langley began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines that he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896.

This Odd Early Flying Machine Made History but Didn't Have the Right Stuff

Aerodrome No. 5 had to be launched by catapult on the Potomac River on May 6, 1896, but it flew unpiloted 3,300 feet

Once Pathfinder bounced to a stop, the cushioned covering deflated and Sojourner rolled out to explore the other-worldly surface like no mission before it.

Exploring Mars

Recalling the Thrill of Pathfinder's Mission to Mars

Almost three decades ago, Americans were awed by the pitch-perfect airbag-assisted landing and the deploying of the rover Sojourner

Alan Shepard, who was both an astronaut and a golf lover, said he got the idea while training for his Apollo 14 mission. “I thought: What a neat place to whack a golf ball.”

When Astronaut Alan Shepard Hit the Golf Shot Heard 'Round the World

“The Moon is one big sand trap,” the astronaut said after he brought the game to a new frontier

None

Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Was Made by a Bra Manufacturer

This wearable spacecraft let humans take one giant leap away from Earth

The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia undergoes a scanning process for the creation of a 3-D model.

In Another Giant Leap, Apollo 11 Command Module Is 3-D Digitized for Humankind

Five decades after Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins journeyed to the moon, their spaceship finds a new digital life

Gene Kranz (in vest, as Apollo 13 safely splashed down) had faith that "as a group, we were smart enough ... to get out of any problem.

How Gene Kranz's Apollo 13 Vest Boosted Morale For His Team

The NASA flight director famously wore a homemade white vest as he averted tragedy during one of Apollo's most harrowing missions

None

How Pan Am's Founder Juan Trippe Turned Americans Into Frequent Fliers

This antique globe was once owned by the fabled airline executive, who ushered in modern air travel