Happy 40th Birthday, National Air and Space Museum!

After a two-year renovation, the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall reopens July 1.

The studio model of the Starship Enterprise from the original "Star Trek" series is now on display in the newly renovated hall.
Mercury "Friendship 7," pictured right, was the spacecraft in which John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Gemini IV, pictured left, was the second of 10 manned Gemini missions that developed the techniques of space rendezvous and docking, and demonstrated that astronauts could withstand prolonged weightlessness in space.
The North American X-15 was the first winged aircraft to attain hypersonic velocities of Mach 4, 5, and 6, and to operate well above 100,000 feet.
The Apollo Lunar Module is now a centerpiece of the hall, sitting below the Spirit of St. Louis.
The Jumo 004 B4 was the world's first mass-produced, operational turbojet engine. The Whittle W1X was the first British turbojet to be airborne.
Launched on July 10, 1962, Telstar 1, developed by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), was the world's first active communication satellite.
The 16- by 12-foot interactive wall is part of the National Air and Space Museum's new GO FLIGHT digital experience. Visitors to the Mall location can use the wall to create a personalized tour of artifacts.

Forty years ago, the National Air and Space Museum opened on the National Mall; since then, more than 326 million people have visited. The Museum—both the Mall building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia—holds the world’s largest collection of historically important aeronautical artifacts. Thanks to Boeing, the Mall location’s 19,000-square-foot entrance space has a new, streamlined look, just in time for the anniversary celebration.

“The heart of the Museum lives here,” said General Jack Dailey, at today’s press preview. Dailey, director of the Museum, said that the newly refurbished hall “will give visitors a richer experience,” and that they “will walk away with a deeper understanding of how spaceflight and aviation have affected their lives.”

Three components will help facilitate the experience: a 16- by 12-foot interactive media wall, a mobile app called GO FLIGHT, and a redesigned (after July 1) website. Visitors can use the app and wall to designate “favorite” artifacts, and create personalized tours of the Museum. The app also explores little-known connections between artifacts, and lets visitors follow topics of their choice and receive notifications when new material is available.

Scroll through the gallery, above, to see some of the artifacts in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. The GO FLIGHT app will be available starting July 1 from the App Store and Google Play. And for those lucky people who live near Washington, D.C.: the Museum will be open all night on Friday, July 1st to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

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