Washington's Air and Space Museum to reopen with new exhibitions
Look up at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington and you see planes above you. Jim Preston/Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum/dpa

As NASA's ambitions for lunar exploration are returning, Washington is regaining one of the continent's biggest landmarks for fans of space travel and aviation in general.

The US capitol is gearing up to reopen its National Air and Space Museum to visitors after a six-month closure for renovation work to add several new exhibitions.

Known for its collection of space travel artefacts from the fabled Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, the museum is home to exhibits from the history of aviation and space travel, distributed over eight exhibition worlds.

It's not only historic airplanes and space travel to which the museum pays homage. A major highlight for Star Wars fans is likely to be the sight of a full-size, real-life X-Wing star fighter, which is one of the newly added exhibits.

"This is one of the most exciting times in the National Air and Space Museum's history," said Chris Browne, director of the museum.

"When we open the first reimagined galleries, we hope all visitors are inspired by artefacts on display for the first time, favourite icons of aerospace presented in new ways and diverse storytelling."

The museum, located on Washington's National Mall, is set to be open again from October 14. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved online in advance, which will be possible from one month before the reopening (September 14).