Science

The Smithsonian Institution will unveil the reimagined galleries of the Air and Space Museum on October 14.

The countdown to the launch of the first reimagined galleries at the National Air and Space Museum is underway. (will open in a new tab).

On Tuesday (August 2), the Smithsonian Institution announced that after six months of being closed to the public, it will reopen half of the Washington, D.C. Museum’s flagship building on the National Mall on Friday, October 14. Eight new and refurbished exhibits, including two on the history of space exploration, will make their debut on the west side of the building.

“This is one of the most exciting moments in the history of the National Air and Space Museum,” said museum director Chris Brown. (will open in a new tab). “When we open the first reimagined galleries, we hope that all visitors will be inspired by exhibits presented for the first time at the exhibition, beloved symbols of the aerospace industry, presented in a new way. (will open in a new tab) and varied storytelling.

Closed since the end of March, the museum has been under reconstruction for seven years. (will open in a new tab) which started in 2018. The overhaul included redesigning all 23 of the museum’s exhibition spaces and replacing the building’s exterior cladding, as well as other improvements and repairs.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: America’s Aerospace Treasures (photo)

Contractors are working on installing a thrust chamber from a remanufactured Apollo 11 F-1 engine in

Contractors are working to install a thrust chamber from a remanufactured Apollo 11 F-1 engine at the Destination Moon Gallery at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. (Image credit: Smithsonian Institution)

When the museum reopens on October 14 — the same day that marks the 75th anniversary of breaking the sound barrier — it will feature hundreds of artifacts new to the building, including the T-38 jet that Jackie Cochrane flew when became the first. a woman who has overcome the speed of Mach 1. Also on display will be the full-size X-Wing Starfighter used in the filming of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Sunrise” on loan from Lucasfilm.

Among the eight debuting exhibitions, two will be devoted to human exploration of the Earth’s natural satellite and its surrounding planets.

Replacing the original museum gallery “Apollo to the Moon”. (will open in a new tab)Destination Moon will use the Smithsonian’s collection of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo artifacts to show how astronauts came to walk on the lunar surface. The centerpiece of the new exhibit will be Columbia, the Apollo 11 command module. (will open in a new tab) which carried the first crew to the Moon to Earth and back, and the Apollo 11 spacesuit worn by mission commander Neil Armstrong.

Next door, at the Kenneth S. Griffin Exploring the Planet Gallery, visitors will be able to tour the solar system and discover what it’s like to walk through another world through a new immersive and interactive experience. The exhibition presents rovers and interplanetary probes, as well as the results of research by scientists from the Museum’s Center for the Study of the Earth and Planets, who are actively involved in ongoing planetary missions.

A full-scale mock-up of the Voyager interplanetary probe hangs in a reimagined "Kenneth S. Griffin explores the planets" gallery shown here under construction at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

A full-scale mock-up of the Voyager interplanetary probe hangs in the reimagined Kenneth S. Griffin Planet Exploration Gallery, which can be viewed here under construction at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. (Image credit: Smithsonian Institution)

Other galleries reopening or debuting on October 14 include America by Air, Early Flight, Speed ​​Nation, One World Connected, and Thomas W. Haas, We’re All Flying. In The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Air Age, Wright’s 1903 flyer will be shown in a dynamic new environment that better tells the story of the invention of flight and its impact on world history.

The museum shop, Mars Café and planetarium are also returning. The latter has received significant improvements, including new screencast capabilities that will allow connection to other planetariums located across the country, greatly expanding the museum’s reach.

Given the expected interest in visiting, temporary passes will be required. Free tickets will be available on the website of the National Air and Space Museum. (will open in a new tab) starting September 14th.

Work on the east wing of the museum continues. Central Exhibition “Milestones of Flight” (will open in a new tab) scheduled to reopen in 2024. Completion of the remaining 14 galleries and project culmination is currently scheduled for 2025.

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