Air and Space Museum to debut out-of-this-world new west wing
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s west wing reopens next Friday with eight new galleries.
What’s happening: The museum is undergoing a seven-year renovation that will update all of its 23 galleries and add a new learning center. The east wing of the museum will remain closed during the renovation, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.
Until then, the newly reopened west wing has hours of exciting exhibits to keep you entertained.
Details: In addition to lunar modules and the Wright Brothers’ original plane, visitors can also enjoy:
- An immersive tour of the solar system (think giant, hanging planets and interactive screens that will bring you to their surfaces).
- A view of the Earth from inside the International Space Station.
- Aircraft, including a T-38 flown by Jackie Cochran, the first woman to break the sound barrier, and even a full-sized X-Wing Starfighter on loan from Lucasfilm
- The planetarium, which will feature shows narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is also reopening.
The museum's sleek new Mars-themed café is decorated with the most recent photos taken from Mars and a life-size image of a Mars rover.
Worth noting: Visitors will need free timed tickets to visit.
My thought bubble: As a space nerd, I wanted to spend all day at the museum, playing an interactive game where I controlled a Mars Rover exploring the planet’s surface or watching a simulation of what "good" and "bad" ozone looks like overhead.
- Despite the new and shiny exhibits, one thing does remain the same about the museum, to my utter delight: That Smell.
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