Saturday, August 25, 2012

Local Travels: Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center

"Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand." 
--Neil Armstrong, 1930--2012

RIP Neil Armstrong.

I actually heard about the passing of the man who walked on the moon when I got home from visiting the Space Shuttle Discovery at the Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center. As I stood there in the shadow of the shuttle I marveled at, well, everything single thing about it. I marveled that human minds dreamt and thought and pondered about space and space travel and things that are bigger than our world. I marveled that human hands built something that traveled to space and back home again. I marveled that humans, like Neil Armstrong, had enough courage to get into the thing and aim towards the heavens. I believe that space travel is such a showpiece of the human potential, our dreams can be pretty limitless if we put in the hard work to achieve them. 

 I love how dirty and beat up the museum left the shuttle. Space travel is no picnic, but it is SPACE TRAVEL. 

Panels on the underside of the wings

The center is actual just a huge hanger, but in my opinion, it is of the one of the most architecturally pleasing of the Smithsonians. Because it is out of the way and has an open concept floor plan it seems so less crowded then the museums on the National Mall. Also, there aren't 19870 million explanation signs to read, which means there really aren't bottlenecks around any one piece. Everything is just so big, you kinda just stand there in awe of it all.

The Blackbird (Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird to be exact), the world's fastest jet-propelled aircraft. It's pretty stealthy. 
From behind
From the side
From the nose

The Observation Deck
 My beloved Blue Ridge Mountains!

I always say that you can tell if a museum is a good museum if they have a banjo on display. This is a good museum.
The "Lucky Lindy" Tenor Banjo, made in honor of Charles Lindbergh

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