WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) announced plans Thursday to renovate its iconic “Milestones of Flight” exhibit for the first time since opening its doors in 1976.
The renovation will be funded with a donation of $30 million dollars from the aerospace company Boeing.
"We're grateful to Boeing for this magnificent contribution. It will enable us to create an exciting new exhibition concept inspired by innovators, from the Wright brothers to today's space explorers, and to develop educational experiences for generations of innovators to come,” said Gen. J.R. "Jack" Dailey, the museum's director.
NASM plans to update the exhibit with a more streamlined 21st-century look “suited to today’s visitors” that will “trace the interconnected stories of the world’s most significant aircraft and spacecraft.”
“The new Milestones will deepen the experience with richer description and interpretation of the iconic artifacts on display (including some relocated ones like the Lunar Module LM-2), versatile digital and mobile opportunities to interact with and share content, and a more visitor-friendly design of the space to better showcase the artifacts and make visitor services and information more accessible,” a press release from NASM reads.
The renovations will be completed by 2016, a year that marks the 40th anniversary of NASM and will see Boeing celebrate its centennial as a company.
A release from Boeing reads, “Not only does the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum celebrate and commemorate aerospace milestones, but the institution also represents the aspiration to inspire future generations, test the limits and challenge the impossible.”
Including this donation, Boeing has contributed nearly $60 million to NASM; to show its appreciation, the museum will rename the “Milestones of Flight” exhibit in the company’s honor.
“The renovated Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall will showcase one of the world’s largest collections of aerospace objects and feature new exhibits to excite the imagination of all ages about the future of flight,” boasts Boeing.
As the Milestones gallery also serves as the entrance to the museum, the exhibit will remain open during renovations.
[NASM] [Boeing] [H/t Collect Space]