Udvar-Hazy Center

Posted by barb on Nov 25, 2004 in Around DC, Pictures |

Several years ago, I discovered that the best day of the year to visit the Smithsonian Museums is on Thanksgiving Day. Yup, they are open. In fact, the only day they are closed is Christmas Day. And, since everyone else is travelling or spending the day at Grandma’s house, the museums are relatively empty. No pushing, no shoving, minimal children running around unattended, and a great chance to see the exhibits.

This year we decided to go out to the Udvar-Hazy Center, an extension of the National Air and Space Museum near the Dulles Airport in Virginia. The Center is still somewhat under construction — there was a nice display of helicopters with no explanatory text for any of them. They opened the McDonnell Space Wing just a few weeks ago, so my Aunt and Uncle missed it (they went when they came up for the wedding in September).

A few pictures:

Outside the museum — a sculpture and “wall of honor” Lockheed Blackbird (Andrew’s favorite)
Outside the Udvar-Hazy NASM Annex Blackbird
The model used for the Close Encounters of the Third Kind mother ship. This picture turned out really well — it’s actually not very well lit, especially considering the plaque invites visitors to look for the fun objects the makers put in, like an R2-D2, VW Beetle and submarie. Me by the space shuttle Enterprise. This one was not actually flown in space, but designed to be tested in the upper atmosphere. It doesn’t have the heat tiles that the space-bound shuttles have, but still impressive.
Close Encounters Mothership Me by the Enterprise

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