The most popular museum on the Mall.. Facts & Features As the country that first took to the skies, it is appropriate that the nation's capital should house the world's foremost museum dedicated to the story of flight. Opened in the bicentennial year of 1976, Air and Space is easily the most popular Smithsonian museum on the Mall, with more than nine million visitors each year. Among the museum's highlights are the 1903 Wright Flyer, which made the first manned flight (for 12 seconds; Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, in which he made the first solo flight across the Atlantic; and the Apollo 11 command module. Just off the entrance hall, IMAX movies are projected in a theater with a five-story-high screen. Tickets are a hot commodity, so purchase them immediately upon arriving at the museum. The Air and Space Museum's store stocks novel souvenirs including freeze-dried "Space Food," ice cream sandwiches and cheese pizzas developed for Apollo astronauts.