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Monday, January 19, 2004

More Air & Space

nasm_dulles_blackbird.jpg

The curiousLees took a road trip out to Chantilly, Virginia today to see the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the new extension of the National Air & Space Museum next to Dulles Airport. This was baby's first trip to a museum and another chance to give my new camera a workout. Both baby and camera did well, and mom managed to have a good time in between the two. I'll add a few more notes and links here in the next day or so. Enjoy the photos for now.

1/21—more notes and links: I've added links on each photo gallery page to more information on all the air- and spacecraft shown. Historical depth is one of the things I'm hoping for in upcoming revisions to the new museum, which generally offers only a brief paragraph at most on a plaque near each of the artifacts. Other aspects of the facility are works in progress. The food court is still under construction, so a Subway stand with a limited menu has been set up at one end of the hangar and there was a long line. You may want to pack lunch, or when it gets warmer, plan to picnic somewhere on the museum grounds. The space hangar containing the Enterprise is still gated, and the museum is seeking funding to finish a large restoration facility. Do check the museum's web site for construction updates. We were concerned about baby logistics, but were happy to find that baby changing rooms are nested in between each pair of men's and ladie's restrooms. The hangar ramps and catwalks are very wide and stroller-friendly. And when Cianna cried, the sound immediately dissapated in the monstrous space. My comments on the facilities aside, the sheer number of legendary craft presented in a spacious setting makes this new extension to Air & Space a must see for anyone who appreciates the history and technology of human flight. We'll be returning in the spring.

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