Space, above and beyond…

The Smithsonian has opened a new air and space museum out by Dulles airport – the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Gary and Sheryl haven’t seen it yet, so we drive out there.

There is already a “National Air and Space Museum” on the Mall, in Washington itself, but they have only the space there for 10% of the available exhibits. The new centre has space, and then some more – a giant hanger big enough to take their latest acquisition – an Air France Concorde – sideways. Other exhibits include the Enola Gay, a Blackbird, and a Space Shuttle.

In this picture, you can see the SR-71 Blackbird, with the Space Shuttle Enterprise in the background, which is currently being restored.

An elevator up the 7 storey observation tower give you panoramic views of 4 states, and Dulles airport. Below the observation deck is an exhibit about air traffic control, with and old style control desk, a video show, and piped live sound from the real control tower at Dulles.

From there, we drive over to Harold and Becky’s for barbecue and a concom meeting – Steve and Crystal are also there. Harold introduces me to a really nice Pumpernickel beer, and a mustard with horseradish that has such a bite, I have to go back and have some more. The evening ends with some game testing.

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