By Southwester Staff

Renovations at the National Air and Space Museum; Courtesy Jim Preston via the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is currently undergoing major renovations that will soon close off the Independence Avenue entrance of the “Boeing Milestones of Flight hall.” Various artifacts, like the North American X-15, have already been lowered and removed (earlier in August). This in prep for a large wall to be constructed that will close off the the aforementioned exit, the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery, and the Albert Einstein Planetarium. The Barron Hilton Gallery houses some of flights greatest achievements in flight across technology and culture, and each exhibit represents some major milestone. The wall will go up starting Oct. 7 and will close off the Independence Ave exit for two years. The entire renovation project is scheduled to take seven years. 

Why you might ask is this happening now? Well, Air and Space has been around for several decades (since 1976 to be exact) and according to their calculations “more than the population of the [entire] United States” has visited since its doors opened, so it’s time for an overhaul. The renovations will usher in a “reimagining” of some 23 galleries for modernization and a more immersive learning experience. More than 5,200 artifacts will be removed and preserved, but the new era of the Air and Space Museum will also invite 1,400 new objects to wonder over. Not to worry, your air and space curiosities can still take flight and soar! The museum will remain open during its extensive makeover, with scheduled closures and openings planned of various sections until completion. Furthermore, the museum’s year-round programming for youngsters, pedagogue enthusiasts, and lovers of all things aerospace will continue.

Stay afloat of the project here: https://airandspace.si.edu/about-transformation.

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