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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum starts next phase of renovation

National Air and Space Museum removing and relocating artefacts from ‘Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall’.

smithsonian national air and space museum

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is embarking on the next phase of its seven-year renovation project, removing artefacts from the ‘Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall’.

The National Air and Space Museum is renovating its flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum recently received a £200m donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Artefacts in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall will be removed and relocated as the National Air and Space Museum prepares for construction work to begin in the space next year.

The Smithsonian says there will be ‘noticeable changes’ to the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, beginning this month and continuing through February 2022.

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

National Air and Space Museum

Going off display in October are the Viking Lander, Sputnik, Explorer 1, Whittle W.1X Engine, Junkers Jumo 211 Engine, Mercury ‘Friendship 7’, Gemini IV, Bell XP-59A Airacomet and NACA Wind Tunnel Fan. 

Pioneer 10 and Mariner 2 will be deinstalled in November, while the Lunar Module 2 will be removed in December. The Ryan NYP ‘Spirit of St. Louis’, SpaceShipOne and Bell X-1 ‘Glamorous Glennis’ will be deinstalled in early 2022.

Bezos’ donation is the largest gift to the Smithsonian since its founding donation in 1846 from James Smithson. $70m will support the renovation of building, while $130m will go towards a new education centre.

Focusing on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), the education centre will be connected to all Smithsonian museums and will be called the Bezos Learning Center.

‘Milestones of Flight’ reopens in 2024


All artefacts from the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall will be returned to the building for display after the renovation project is completed.

The first half of the renovation project will finish in autumn 2022 when eight exhibitions open to the public in the flagship building’s west wing.

‘Milestones of Flight’ is scheduled to reopen in 2024, and the completion of the east wing is set to finish in 2025.

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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