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Milestones of Flight

Milestones of Flight

July 1, 1976 – Permanent

Museum: Air and Space Museum

Location: 1st Floor, Center, Milestones of Flight, Gallery 100

This gallery features famous airplanes and spacecraft that exemplify the major achievements in the history of flight.

Highlights include:

  • Mercury Friendship 7: the first manned orbiting flight, carrying John Glenn, Feb. 20, 1962
  • Gemini IV: the first U.S. space walk by Edward H. White II, June 3-7, 1965
  • Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia: 1st manned lunar landing, 1969, carrying Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins
  • Touchable Moon Rock: a "gem" from the lunar surface, collected by Apollo astronauts
  • Goddard Rockets: a full-scale model of the world's 1st liquid propellant rocket, flown on March 16, 1926, and a large rocket constructed in 1941 by Robert Goddard, father of American rocketry
  • Bell XS-1 (X-1) Glamorous Glennis: 1st manned flight faster than the speed of sound, flown by Chuck Yeager, Oct. 14, 1947
  • Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis: Lindbergh's plane for 1st solo trans-atlantic non-stop flight 1927
  • Explorer I: back-up model of 1st U.S. satellite to orbit the earth, 1958
  • Sputnik I: Russian replica of 1st artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, 1957
  • North American X-15: 1st winged, manned aircraft to exceed 6 times the speed of sound and the 1st airplane to explore the fringes of space, 1967
  • Mariner 2: model of 1st spacecraft to study another planet when it flew by Venus, launched Dec. 14, 1962
  • Pioneer 10 (prototype): 1st spacecraft to fly by Jupiter and 1st aircraft to venture beyond the planets, launched March 3, 1972
  • Viking Lander: an unmanned proof test capsule used in ground tests before and during the Viking flights to Mars in 1976
  • Bell XP-59A Airacomet (#1 of 3): 1st American turbojet aircraft, direct ancestor to all American jet aircraft, flown by Robert M. Stanley, Oct. 1, 1942
  • Breitling Orbiter 3 Balloon Gondola: 1st balloon to fly around the world nonstop in 1999
  • SpaceShipOne: 1st privately built and operated vehicle to reach space

More Information

Online Exhibition