Skip navigation
Share this page
Keyword Search

Select Topics

Select Museums

Select: All, None

Exhibitions Home | Current | Upcoming | Past | Virtual

Milestones of Flight

Milestones of Flight

July 1, 1976 – Permanent

Air and Space Museum
601 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

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
  • 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

A major renovation is now underway. The new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, to be completed for the Museum's 40th anniversary in 2016, will change the way we tell the many stories of how aviation and spaceflight have transformed the world.

Learn more

Online exhibition