Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Places
  Space places in and around Washington, DC

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Space places in and around Washington, DC
teopze
Member

Posts: 165
From: Warsaw, Poland
Registered: May 2008

posted 08-16-2009 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for teopze   Click Here to Email teopze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there space-related sights in Washington, DC and the surrounding area?

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1311
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 08-16-2009 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Museum is a must see!

mikej
Member

Posts: 412
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 08-17-2009 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Freedom 7 is located at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, about 30 miles from the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

Goddard Space Flight Center is about 15 miles from NASM.

The NASA headquarters building is just a few blocks away from NASM.

Arlington National Cemetery is about 5 miles away.

If you've got a little more time for driving, the Virginia Air & Space Center, Air Power Park, and Langley Research Center (which no longer has a visitor center on-site) are all in Hampton, Virginia, a bit over 3 hours' drive away.

And if you take the long way back to DC from Hampton, you could stop off at Wallops Island.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1298
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 02-14-2010 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another good site that is more aviation related than space related is the College Park (MD) Aviation Museum at the site of the Wright Bros test field from around 1910. There's also an early helicopter (a Neuport biplane fitted with about umpteen rotors with drive chains running all over the airplane) that would scare the bejeebers out of any modern day pilot!

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 429
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-15-2010 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are of course are a number of astronaut grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery, but you can also visit Wernher von Braun's grave site at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria, Va.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 02-15-2010 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Missing from the above lists is the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC. I believe this is still the most popular museum in the world based on number of people visiting every year.

In it you'll find the Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia", Gemini IV, Friendship 7, LM-2, the second Skylab Orbital Workshop, a full-size Apollo-Soyuz docked configuration, an engineering backup of the Hubble Space Telescope (as well as one of the cameras that was retrieved on STS-125), SpaceShip One, the Wright Brothers' Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, an X-15...too many priceless treasures to list here.

No space enthusiast should come anywhere near Washington DC without planning to spend at least a couple of hours at the NASM.

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 1029
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 02-15-2010 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know I'm showing my age but NASA used to have a history office at 8221 Westchester Dr. Vienna, Va. 22180. Lee D. Saegesser was the NASA archivist.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1298
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 02-15-2010 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good memory Lou! That history office also got consolidated into the current NASA HQ building. Lee's a great guy! He retired 5 - 10 years ago.

Fezman92
Member

Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-13-2010 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Monday I got the chance to go to DC and visit NASA HQ. It's a really cool place from what I could see.

When you walk in they have an Apollo suit and a modern suit, both in display cases naturally. Their library is cool and we got a little tour of the library. They showed us some of the neat things they have like an anti-matter detector from the ISS.

On the security desk they had a binder with the phone numbers/employee directory which I would have loved to look through but it was at the security desk.

At the end of the library, they had a room with a bunch of free stuff and some books for sale. For free I got the following:

  • Apollo 30th Anniversary coin containing metal from a Saturn V launch tower
  • 2 Glory stickers
  • A book: 'NASA 50 Years of Exploration and Discovery'
  • Another book: 'NASA's Nuclear Frontier: The Plum Brook Reactor Facility' signed by both authors
  • Expedition 5, STS-101, STS-117, STS-118, STS-122, STS-127 crew photos/lithos
  • Signed photo of Steven Swanson
  • A poster commemorating Apollo
  • Photos of Eric Boe, Shane Kimbrough, and an old one of Shannon Lucid
Oddly enough they didn't have any crew photos of the more recent missions, although they may have had them and I could have missed it.

Overall it was worth the half hour walk. Would go back when I get the chance. I'll put photos up this weekend.

MB
Member

Posts: 95
From: Olmsted Falls, Ohio U.S.A.
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-14-2010 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MB   Click Here to Email MB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My son and I visited the library/History Office at NASA Headquarters last weekend and had a great time. The people there were very friendly and really took care of us. My son was able to get the latest STS-133 patch sticker and crew litho as well as several monograms of the following:
  • X-15
  • Human Spaceflight Chronology
  • Unmanned spacecraft mission chronology
  • Augustine Report
  • Human Mars Mission studies
In addition, while I was talking to one of the gentleman at the library about the curation of various historic NACA/NASA publications, a second person there was gracious enough to explain to my son the various (and numerous) models of manned and unmanned spacecraft that they had on display. They also showed us the first AMS instrument to fly on the ISS which is the predecessor to the AMS to fly on STS-134. Pretty cool!!

In the lobby was a shuttle launch/reenty suit as well as Frank Borman's suit. It was interesting that his suit was displayed with a PLSS backpack, given that it wasn't used on Apollo 8. Overall I would definitely recommend a visit there to any cS readers!!

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 1029
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 11-01-2011 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speaking of the National Air and Space Museum, be sure to check out the library on the third floor. Not too many people know about it and you have to call ahead for reservations but it's worth it.

For the modelers out there it is the largest collection I have ever seen.

cosmic_buffalo
Member

Posts: 27
From: Dayton, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2014

posted 07-24-2014 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmic_buffalo   Click Here to Email cosmic_buffalo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The family and I are doing a little vacation in a week and wanted to get any advice or recommendations.

We are going to Washington D.C. and will be going to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. Does NASA's headquarters have much for the public to see? Is there anything else in D.C. worth seeing that is space related?

After two days in D.C. we are going to Chincoteague and will visit NASA's Wallop's Flight Facility, any tips or advice on visiting these places or recommendations for other space spots either nearby or on the way (Baltimore, D.C., Virginia, etc)?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1607
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-24-2014 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Drop by the Goddard Space Flight Center.

stsmithva
Member

Posts: 1512
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-24-2014 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I went to Chincoteague and Wallops for a launch in 2011. My family and I enjoyed the beaches and a boat tour around the islands. The launch was the main attraction, but we enjoyed the Wallops visitor's center. They had Schweickart's training EVA suit, some huge models, and other items of interest.

cosmic_buffalo
Member

Posts: 27
From: Dayton, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2014

posted 07-24-2014 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmic_buffalo   Click Here to Email cosmic_buffalo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the replies.

Looking through the earlier thread with which my question was merged, there are many good suggestions. There seems to be no shortage of space related attractions. That bodes well!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2527
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-24-2014 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't overlook the other Smithsonian museums or other museums in DC. When I went to the Castle in February I was surprised to see an AMU checklist from Skylab as well as a flown dollar bill on one of the Apollo moon missions. Never know what you'll find by walking around.

The NASA HQ lobby has been redone. The gift shop (exchange) is open only until 4 p.m. (I think), and they had a small waiting room with books for the taking. (A security lady was nice enough to give us bags.) However, the main library entrance is now on the west side of the building, not through the main entrance.

At one NASA Social, Bob Cabana and Ellen Ochoa happened to be in the deli which has an entrance into NASA as well as a street entrance. I'm kicking myself for not stopping there after the Social on the way to the National Air and Space Museum.

Glint
Member

Posts: 820
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-24-2014 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are many government and private labs and manufacturing plants whose high bay buildings dot the landscape around Washington. Unfortunately, many are either not open to the public or are closed/out-of-business/moved away. For example there's the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, and the old Fairchild Space Company in Germantown.

Although these places may be off limits, you may find some of the items they helped to develop or manufacture at the National Electronic Museum near Linthicum. Although off the beaten trail, it's up the road from Goddard closer to Baltimore. The museum is a very short hop from the BWI airport if you're coming in from that direction.

Among the space related items on display is an actual flight model lunar surface camera identical to the one used on Apollo 11, and a mock-up of the color surface camera that was used in a news cast. The Emmy award given to Westinghouse for developing the Apollo 11 camera is also on display. The museum collection also includes parts from the Apollo 12 lunar surface camera that had failed after being pointed at the sun and pounded on with Al Bean's hammer. The crew returned these pieces from the surface of the moon for further analysis.

There's also a lot of other interesting items there that you don't run across every day at most other museums.

Glint
Member

Posts: 820
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-24-2014 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikej:
Freedom 7 is located at the Naval Academy in Annapolis
While true at the time this was written, to see Freedom 7 now one would have to travel up I-95 a ways to the JFK Museum in Boston.

cosmic_buffalo
Member

Posts: 27
From: Dayton, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2014

posted 07-25-2014 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmic_buffalo   Click Here to Email cosmic_buffalo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glint, Thanks for the great info. We are flying into BWI, so that is perfect!

I'll add that and Goddard to our itinerary. Unfortunately, that may be all I get to see (in addition to Smithsonian and Wallops) since I'm the only space enthusiast in the family and the in-laws will be with us. :/

They planned the trip to DC and the beach, I'm just trying to customize my own fun along the way. I'm glad we are renting separate cars.

Thanks again for all the tips!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2527
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-25-2014 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reminds me of when the inlaws go to Walt Disney World - that's the only time I get to go to KSC (and I insist on doing so!) So I do the "Kennedy Space Center Expedition of Doom" - a whole day trying to do everything. Luckily I've taken just about all the tours, so the next time I go I can just stand in from of Atlantis and drool... after getting my passport stamped, and before the astronaut signing and gift shop blitz....

JBoe
Member

Posts: 464
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 07-28-2014 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Glint:
...to see Freedom 7 now one would have to travel up I-95 a ways to the JFK Museum in Boston.
Even though Freedom 7 has been relocated, there are still space oriented exhibits at the Naval Academy visitor center where the Freedom once was. Additionally, there is a museum adjacent to the chapel that has various naval artifacts as well as space artifacts.

RGW
Member

Posts: 36
From: Long Island, New York, USA
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 08-16-2014 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RGW   Click Here to Email RGW     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great thread! Thanks for the suggestions.

As Hart S wrote, also check out Smithsonian museums other than Air and Space. Earlier this month, I discovered Alan Shepard's Mercury spacesuit — aluminized nylon, with "A.B. Shepard" on the name tag — as part of a display at the National Museum of American History. The exhibit focused on the different roles of our presidents. I was very surprised to see that spacesuit there! Third floor, in the gallery next to the "First Ladies' Gowns". There was a small sign by one of the boots stating that the spacesuit was on loan from the National Air and Space Museum ("NASM").

Consider Washington's National Episcopal Cathedral. See the "Scientists and Technicians Window," commonly called the "Space Window," which benefactor was Dr. Thomas Paine (NASA Administrator during Apollo). The window, which includes a piece of rock from the Sea of Tranquility, is considered one of the best-loved stained glass windows at the Cathedral, and is spiritually-inspired. It was dedicated on the fifth anniversary of Apollo 11's landing.

National Cathedral was also the site of the national memorial service for the Columbia crew in February 2003, and for a public memorial service in September 2013 following Neil Armstrong's death.

Or visit the National Space Society's Headquarters at 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500.

Also "downtown," through Nov. 30, is "Mars Up Close," an exhibit at the National Geographic Headquarters Museum, featuring full-scale models of the NASA/JPL rovers that have gone to Mars: Curiosity, Spirit/Opportunity, and Sojourner.

I've also enjoyed a fun tribute to Albert Einstein (a bronze lounging 4 ton, 21 foot high sculpture) which is in a grove of trees at the corner of the National Academy of Sciences headquarters property. I remember being surprised when I came upon it soon after it was unveiled. A large, accurate "star map" is at his feet. A peaceful place at 2101 Constitution Ave, NW (close-ish to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial).

If you like libraries, I recommend both libraries mentioned in posts above: the National Air and Space Museum's (on the upper floor — and Lou C is right about the model collection — I saw it around 1980, and still remember how amazing it was!) And the library at (the new) NASA Headquarters. Although it was much more convenient when NASA HQ was in two buildings across from the museum, think of the extra ten minute walk as a pilgrimage. And, as mentioned in a couple of the posts above, a unique selection of NASA publications is usually available for the gracious visitor.

Across the Potomac, Arlington National Cemetery has a memorial to the Challenger crew. Here is a list of twenty-one astronauts buried at Arlington. There's also a second generation sycamore Moon Tree planted at Arlington "in honor of Apollo astronaut Stuart A. Roosa and the other distinguished Astronauts who have departed our presence here on earth."

Exploring our nation's capital is a lifetime adventure — even with a narrow focus on America's exploration of space. Enjoy!

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2014 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement