The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution located in the US capital.

In Washington, the National Air and Space Museum closed to visitors due to the pandemic since November last year, on Friday reopened its doors to residents and guests of the American capital.

Even before the opening – by 10 am local time – several hundred people had already gathered in front of the museum despite the working day. The queue stretched for almost half a kilometer: a chain of people skirted the side wing of the building and ended on the opposite side from the main entrance. “I didn’t expect such long queues because today is the first day when it [the museum] reopened; I expected that there would be fewer people here,” one of the people standing in line named Steven told.

Many visitors were clearly prepared for their visit: there were many people in the crowd wearing T-shirts with space-themed prints. However, some random passers-by saw a large crowd of people and decided to look into the museum. “We are actually on vacation – we just came to the city, and now we are walking and taking pictures,” said Kiki, who, together with a group of friends, took a picture at the museum sign.

After the doors of the building finally opened, visitors passed through the metal detectors at the entrance and quickly filled the halls. Unfortunately, however, not the entire exposition of the Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics is currently available for viewing: part of the exhibition premises is fenced off, and it is impossible to go there. But it’s not a pandemic, but the fact that the institution has been undergoing a large-scale renovation since 2018, within the framework of which it is planned to redo all 23 galleries and exhibition spaces. “Half of the museum is currently closed for renovation,” the press service of the institution said. “The first of the new galleries will open in the fall of 2022.”