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National Air and Space Museum reopening with X-wing Starfighter from Star Wars

The X-wing Starfighter from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is on loan from Lucasfilm.

smithsonian national air and space museum star wars x-wing

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is reopening half of its renovated flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, DC on 14 October 2022.

After closing in March 2022, the museum’s west wing will reopen with eight new and renovated exhibitions, as well as the planetarium, store and Mars Café.

The National Air and Space Museum has been undergoing a seven-year renovation project that started in 2018. It includes redesigning all 23 exhibitions and presentation spaces.

In addition, the exterior cladding is being completely resurfaced, and outdated mechanical systems are being replaced. Other repairs and improvements are being made across the site.

smithsonian national air and space museum

“This is one of the most exciting times in the National Air and Space Museum’s history,” said Chris Browne, the museum’s director.

“When we open the first reimagined galleries, we hope all visitors are inspired by artifacts on display for the first time, favorite icons of aerospace presented in new ways and diverse storytelling.”

Exhibitions opening in October are as follows:

  • ‘America by Air’
  • ‘Destination Moon’
  • ‘Early Flight’
  • ‘Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery’
  • ‘Nation of Speed’
  • ‘One World Connected’
  • ‘Thomas W. Haas We All Fly’
  • ‘Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age’

Museum’s west wing opens on 14 October

New artifacts to feature in the west wing include Jackie Cochran’s T-38, the Sharp DR 90 Nemesis air racer, and Sean Tucker’s custom-built aerobatic biplane.

The X-wing Starfighter that appeared in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is on loan from Lucasfilm, will also be displayed for the first time. It will be located outside of the planetarium.

Highlights also include an immersive experience where guests will tour the solar system in the ‘Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery’.

Earlier this year, the National Air and Space Museum unveiled a new brand and identity for the first time since it opened in 1976.

Images: Smithsonian

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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