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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The NASM and the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Centre

The NASM and the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Centre are two of the various aerospace museums located in Washington D.C. The NASM is part of the Smithsonian Institute of museums, which also include the famous Museum of Natural History, among others. The Udvar-Hazy Centre, on the other hand, is a privately owned venture.

The National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum in the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight. Almost all space and aircraft on display are originals or backups to the originals. The Space Shuttle Discovery is also on display.
 
Because of the museum's close proximity to the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian wanted a building that would be architecturally impressive but would not stand out too boldly against the Capitol building. St. Louis-based architect Gyo Obata of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum designed the museum as four simple marble-encased cubes containing the smaller and more theatrical exhibits, connected by three spacious steel-and-glass atria which house the larger exhibits such as missiles, airplanes and spacecraft. (Below): SpaceShipOne, the first privately owned manned vehicle to reach space.
 
File:Spaceship one.jpg

The Steven F Udvar-Hazy Centre
 
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is another museum at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States and is part of the National Air ad Space Museum
The facility was made possible by a US$65 million gift in October 1999 to the Smithsonian Institution by Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, an immigrant from Hungary and co-founder of the International Lease Finance Corporation, an aircraft leasing corporation. Construction of the Center, which was designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, required 15 years of preparation and was built by Hensel Phelps Construction Co. The Space Shuttle Discovery is also on display. The pictures below show the Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird (left) and the Space Shuttle Discovery (right). More information about the Blackbird can be found at my post here: http://aeronautics-for-all.blogspot.in/2014/12/iconic-planes-sr-71-blackbird.html.

    

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