One of the kind largest collections of the history determining aircrafts and spacecraft in the world today, The National Air and Space Museum, commonly known as NASM, belongs to the Smithsonian Institution. It is as large as 161,145 square feet in area of exhibition floor. Established as the National Air Museum, in the year of 1946, it had the never-seen-before main building opened in the magical year 1976. Currently standing tall in Washington, D.C., USA, it is believed to be the pivotal center for the dig into the history and science behind aviation and spaceflight as well as terrestrial geology, planetary science and geophysics. It consists of almost every space and aircraft that the history has to offer either originals or the similar backups to the original ones. An operational annex named the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located at the Dulles International Airport which having opened in 2003 has the area of 760,000 square feet to itself. The NASM is currently active in restoration of its priceless collection at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility which is in Suitland, Maryland and while at it, NASM does too restore and archive its activities into its Dulles base.
Standing just as close to the Capitol Building, architect Gyo Obata of HOK did the brilliant job of designing the museum building so as not to stand boldly enough to discourage the looks of the Capitol itself but look architecturally impressive to the eyes. It composition consists of a four of the marble-encased cubes each containing the small and mostly theatrical exhibits which get connected by some three spacious magnificent steel-and-glass atria which are to house the larger than size exhibits such as the missiles, spacecraft and airplanes. It is somewhat similar in design to the National Gallery of Art which spreads across the National Mall and itself uses the similar pink marble of Tennessee. The museum which was completed in the year 1976 by the Gilbane Building Company has used the glass walls in its structure for the steady and perfect installation of aircrafts. The Dulles base of the museum of Virginia was designed by Hellmuth, Kassabaum and Obata together which is an art in itself.
The name National Air and Space museum had a long time before being used as an active name as in the 12th of August, 1946, it had itself called as National Air Museum. The archive of the museum date back to 1876 when the Centennial Exposition was active as a result of the donation of a quiet and steady group of kites by the Chinese Imperial Commission to the Smithsonian Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird, that was when the talks of exhibiting after the shipment would be costly enough for them. One of the prized possession of the museum stands to the name of StringFellow, a steam engine intended primarily for the cheap flight of an aircraft. Its collection pieces ranged from the ones obtained from U.S Army and the US Navy which comprise of domestic and captured aircrafts from the World War I. The museum had collections of large missiles and rockets commonly known as Rocket Row. Other sheds hosted the sight of large Martin bomber, an Aero marine 39B floatplane and a LePere fighter-bomber. But the lack of show-space had the collection to remain stored which then lead to the Smithsonian’s to look for their own facilty to restore as well as store aircrafts and crafts. When all of that when on, the so-called space race in the early 50’s and late 60’s led to the museum to be renamed to National Air and Space Museum which handed it the much awaited congressional passage of the much needed exhibition hall. It was a new beginning for the museum as it slowly went onto become the first ever Air and Space museum to have received a large corporate donation, and in this case the fund of $30 million from Boeing to the NASM. This had the NASM to get going with its renovations and that in favor of the public and the visitors to the museum to learn all about the items on display.
The museum has the one of a kind gallery of exhibits that are too wow the visitors that get inside the museum. On in the 1st of June, 2007, the museum had the exhibits including to 61 aircraft, over 2,000 smaller items and 51 large space artifacts which were more than enough to get the better of anyone of the viewers. Some of the exhibits are the Ad Astra; a super sculpture at the entrance of the building followed by Mercury Friendship 7; a spacecraft. Then comes the Appollo 11’s command module; one leap to the future which is followed by the Soviet SS-20 and Pershing II rockets, all destines for the World War. The sightings of SpaceShipOne and Bell X-1 indulge the visitors into the flight of man. Then gradually all state-of-the-art crafts are displayed and the visit ends with the known first aircraft to fly around the world, Chicago which completes one great space experience.
Then the finest of the National Air and Space Museum collections into display, The Phoebe Waterman Hass Public Observatory which was opened to the public just near the start of 2009 as one interesting part of the International Year of Astronomy. It consists of one-of-a-kind 16-inch Boller & Chivens telescope, one calcium-K (purple light) telescopes and the finest and first Sun Gun Telescope and hydrogen-alpha. All this under one roof is surely the finest of the Space Adventures and it is provided by non-other than the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).