National Air and Space Museum
July 11, 2001
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington D. C. is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. Opened on July 1, in the bicentennial year of 1976, the Air and Space Museum is a tourist favorite - easily the most popular Smithsonian museum on the Mall. More than 8 million people visit each year to explore the story of aviation. The photo above of the X-15 is one of many historic airplanes and rockets that are on exhibit in the museum's spacious galleries. In 1959, the X-15 was the first winged craft to reach speeds of Mach 4, 5 and 6 and to operate at altitudes greater than 100,000 feet.