Visitors will have a chance to see what goes into restoring, preserving and displaying America’s aviation and space treasures at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Open House on Saturday in Chantilly, Va.
For one day only, visitors can tour areas usually off-limits to the public, including the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar and the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory. The daylong event includes behind-the-scenes tours, demonstrations, presentations and hands-on activities for all ages.
- Meet curators, conservators, archivists and other specialists and learn how they care for objects in the museum’s collection.
- Tour the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar and see the museum’s current projects, including the Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder “Flak-Bait,” the Horton HO 229 V3 and the Gemini IV and Friendship 7 spacecraft.
- Visit the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory and learn about how the museum restores and preserves artifacts like the original studio model of the “Star Trek” TV series starship “Enterprise.”
- Find out how aircraft are suspended for display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar.
- See how the museum’s most fragile artifacts are cared for and stored.
- Discover the research that is needed before a restoration project can begin.
- Get tips for photographing objects in the museum from a staff photographer.
Admission to the museum and Open House is free; parking is $15.
Since it opened in conjunction with the Centennial of Flight in 2003, the Udvar-Hazy Center has expanded in all areas, most notably with a wing devoted to collections care. This section contains several state-of-the-art storage facilities for entire collections, such as spacesuits and works of art, as well as a conservation lab, processing units and the 48,000-square-foot Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar. The museum’s archival research facility, containing millions of documents, photographs and film and video collections, is also at the center. The number of major artifacts on display, arranged in thematic sections following a “displayed storage” design scheme, has risen from 348 in 2003 to more than 3,250 today.
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport.
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Story and photo by National Air and Space Museum