Strategic Air and Space Museum – Ashland, Nebraska

strategic air and space museum.jpgGeneral Curtis LeMay had a vision of having a museum that preserved aircraft, and in 1959 his vision started to take shape as the first plane was brought to what was then known as the Strategic Aerospace Museum. While life has certainly changed in the years since 1959, so has the museum, as it has even changed its name, looking towards the future, to be sure it doesn’t become limiting.

In 1998 the museum moved to Ashland, Nebraska, where it is currently located. This move to a much more accessible place came on the heels of a thirty-three million dollar campaign, yet with this change came talk of changing what was inside. In 2001 the name of the museum was changed to the current Strategic Air & Space Museum, reflecting the museum’s past with a look toward the future as well.

Instead of just offering exhibits showing preserved aircraft and missiles, the museum has expanded to also provide learning experiences in math, science, and space. The 300,000 square foot museum features a glass atrium that showcases a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird under 525 glass panels.

The majority of the aircraft collection at the museum are housed inside two aircraft display hangars. The museum is part of a traveling exhibit program and has a special traveling exhibit area. After watching the workers restore older aircraft to ready them for show, visitors can stop in the museum store and buy educational toys and materials, then spend some time relaxing at the Plane Food Snack Bar.

There is a special interactive area meant just for children that has audiovisual shows as well as activities for all different ages, making it as educational as it is entertaining. The goal of the educational programs and resources at the museum is to aid teachers in bringing these topics that are more noteworthy into their curriculum, and to be able to do so at every grade level. This is all designed to promote aviation in the schools through school group tours and through classroom projects as well.

The Strategic Air & Space Museum offers up its facilities for meetings of all kinds. What makes this facility more attractive is that it can accommodate up to 2000 people during non-public hours. Limited facilities for lesser amounts of people are available during the public hours of the museum. All rentals, no matter the hour, include use of the parking facilities. The museum areas available for rent are both hangars, the mezzanine, atrium, theatre, library, and the Randolph Walling Conference Room.

There are monthly events held at the museum such as Meet the Hummer, Curator Talks, and Public Guided Tours. An H2 Hummer was donated to the museum and is now used to take the museum out to the community, and is also available for “Meet the Hummer” at the museum during certain days of the month. The museum curator will meet with the public and answer questions on certain topics such as Navy Art and Space Adventures during specific days throughout the month. Expert docents provide guided tours on several selected days throughout the month.

The Strategic Air & Space Museum is open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day and Easter. 

Adults are admitted to the museum for $8.50, seniors $7.00 and active/retired military for $6.00, and children 5 through 12 for $4.00. Children under 4 and members of the museum are admitted free.

Strategic Air & Space Museum
28210 West Park Highway
Ashland, NE 68003
Phone: (402) 944-3100

Strategic Air and Space Museum – Ashland, Nebraska


  1. Mary Swensen says:

    Amy John I would like to say that I have been to the museum several times. It is a great experiance each and every time that I go. I visited with someone the other day. Didn’t write down her name. She was going to get ahold of you on this. I work at the Norfolk Veterans home in Norfolk NE. One of the schools that we do things with was interested in coming to the Air and Space for a field trip and asked if we would be able to come also. I have been wanting to get some of the Members (residents to the museum). This would be a great activity. A rough count would be 15 students (5th graders) 4 shaparones for them. 6-7 veterans and 4 shaparones for them. That is about 30 total. We are looking at the last week in april. Preferably not a monday or Friday. Thanks for any info and anything you can do for us. God Bless America and your families. Mary Swensen Norfolk Veteran’s Home Activities Assistant