Wally Schirra is, perhaps, the most symbolic of America’s original astronauts. The only person to fly all three of America’s first manned space programs – Mercury, Gemini and Apollo – his place in history is unique. The San Diego Air & Space Museum owes much to Schirra. A local resident for the last decades of his life, Wally worked to make sure the museum gained priceless space artifacts and was visited by a who’s-who of aerospace legends who enjoyed his company. The museum is proud to be the recipient of many artifacts related to his career, before, during, and after his astronaut years.
The San Diego Air and Space Museum is home to over 200,000 images that document the history of the Atlas missile, one of the most significant space launch vehicles in history. In March of 2015 the San Diego Air and Space Museum received a two-year Federal grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to process and catalog 165,000 of the collection's images, and digitize and place online 50,000 of them. This online exhibit highlights some of the Archivists' favorite images that were digitized during the project.
San Diego played an important role during the Second World War. This exhibit examines how the War shaped the region, and the region's importance to the War.
From the beginning man has looked toward the stars and aspired to fly. This passage from earth to sky is one of his most noble achievements. From the mythical Daedalus to Neil Armstrong who first walked on the Moon, a chosen few of each generation have been inspired to expand man’s knowledge and capacity in the realm of flight in air and space.
At the outbreak of World War I in July of 1914, airplanes (or known then as "aeroplanes") were still in their infancy. Invented barely 10 years previously, they were made by hand from cloth, wire, and wood. The engines fitted to them were less powerful and less reliable than those in modern automobiles. They were painfully slow and all too prone to accidents. Yet it didn't take long for military commanders to find potential applications and discover the effectiveness of these radical new machines.
As the Balboa Park Centennial celebration is approaching, it is fascinating to see how Balboa Park has expanded and transformed since its creation in 1915.
Many countries have made significant contributions to the world's aerospace history and heritage. One of these is Mexico, whose aviation history begins on January 8, 1910, just a few short years after the Wright brothers' historic flight. This online exhibition highlights some of the Mexicans and Mexican Americans whose bravery helped shape the world of flight as we know it today. It is dedicated to all those Mexicans and Mexican Americans whose hard work and dedication changed aviation, and even now encourage us to make history ourselves.
Asian-Americans have made remarkable accomplishments in many fields, including medicine, science, visual and performing arts, literature and business. . In this exhibit we highlight some of the Asian-American men and women in aerospace who have blazed the trail for others to follow.
Naval aviation has come a long way from the A-1 Triad to the F-18 Hornet and San Diego has been the scene for the entire journey. As such, San Diego is proud to be known as the birthplace of naval aviation.
This online exhibit is dedicated to the story of those who overcame the restrictive social circumstances of the time to broaden Black participation in the growing world of aeronautics, and to those who answered the call and, even now, continue to make history.
For roughly sixty years Consolidated Aircraft Corporation (later Convair) was synonymous with San Diego and, except for the United States Navy, the largest single employer in the County. Consolidated was responsible for building some of the most important aircraft in aviation history.
We at the San Diego Air & Space Museum are saddened about the passing of our friend Colonel Jerry Coleman. From his unwavering loyalty to his nation as a Marine Corps Aviator to his dedication to his San Diego community, he was a true hero.
Welcome to Wheels to Wings: An Online Exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Wheels to Wings celebrates and presents the fascinating history of the only remaining 1930's Ford Motor Company Exposition buildings, out of the 5 originally built.