The National Air and Space Museum

A Sense of Place Project

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Description

The National Air and Space Museum is one of the nineteen Smithsonian museums in the Washington D.C. area. The museum has around 60,000 artifacts showing how aviation and space exploration has advanced over the years. There are things like, the Apollo 11 command module, moon rocks that visitors can touch, the Mercury Friendship 7, which is the spacecraft that John Glenn orbited the Earth in, and many, many more.

History

In 1861, Joseph Henry and Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe inflated and flew Henry's design of the hot air balloon, where the museum is today. This was the beginning of the National Air Museum. The bill to establish the museum was signed in 1946 by President Harry Truman, but the official opening of the museum was in 1976. Years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill to add the concept of space exploration to the National Air Museum, now making it the National Air and Space Museum.

Individuals who made a lasting contribution

Joseph Henry flew his design of a hot air balloon on where the National Air and Space Museum is today.


President Harry Truman signed the bill to allow the museum to be built so people would learn more about aviation.


Before the Space Age, the museum was called the National Air Museum. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill to add the concept of space exploration to the National Air Museum.

Importance to our community

The National Air and Space Museum is important to our community because it helps the people understand the importance of space exploration and aviation. It also illustrates how much advancement in the past few years we have had in these areas. It has helped educate the people in the DC metro area and the world about aviation and space for 38 years, and will hopefully continue for a long time.