Over the Moon

Hampton’s Virginia Air & Space Science Center celebrates 30 years.

Space lovers should add Hampton to their next liftoff: NASA’s Langley Research Center welcomes visitors to its Virginia Air & Space Science Center, and a just-completed $2.5 million renovation means there’s more to see and do than ever.  

“We’re proud to be one of just 14 NASA visitor centers in the country,” says Robert Griesmer, Executive Director and CEO for the Virginia Air & Space Science Center. “We have a five-story IMAX screen, a new gaming center, 150 exhibits, and a brand-new children’s museum all in 100,000 square feet of space.”

The museum features 30 historic aircraft, including a “Huey” helicopter—crucial in Vietnam combat; an Apollo 12 Command Module; the Viking Lander, which made history when it landed safely on Mars in 1976; and the now-banned Pershing II missile, which carried nuclear warheads.  

In the new Space Explorer Gallery, interactive exhibits use gaming technology to engage. A Digital Airplane Studio allows families to design a plane, scan it into a computer, and watch it take off on screen. A children’s area teaches STEM concepts through hands-on play. 

Founded in 1917, NASA Langley Research Center is the first civilian aeronautical laboratory in the United States. The $30 million museum first opened near the waterfront in downtown Hampton in 1982. VASC.org


This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue.

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