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South Dakota Air and Space Museum facts for kids

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South Dakota Air and Space Museum
South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Oct 2011.JPG
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Established 1983
Location Adjacent to Ellsworth Air Force Base, Box Elder, South Dakota, United States
Type Aviation museum
Collection size 25+ aircraft
Founder Gerald E. Teachout
Nearest car park On site

The South Dakota Air and Space Museum, part of the museum system of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, is located in Box Elder, South Dakota, just outside the main gate of Ellsworth AFB. The South Dakota Air and Space Museum serves to educate and entertain the public. Not only does it give information about the history of U.S. Air Force aviation, it promotes South Dakota aviation history. Major exhibits include the B-1B Lancer and the B-29 Superfortress.

During the summer months, visitors can take a base bus tour for a nominal fee. This includes touring a Minuteman missile Training Launch Facility as well as seeing a number of sites on the base.


The museum was co-founded by Gerald E. Teachout in 1983.


The museum contains a number of interior and exterior exhibits including:

  • Over 30 static display aircraft ranging from World War II to current active-duty bombers including the B-1B Lancer
  • 4 different missiles, including a LGM-30 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and a brand-new Titan I ICBM static display that opened in 2017.
  • The museum's four indoor galleries showcase AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY, COLD WAR history, Aviation PIONEERS and Ellsworth Air Force Base history
  • The South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame
  • A Minuteman Missile crew Mission Procedures Trainer exhibit
  • An F-106 interactive aircraft cockpit
  • An F-16 interactive aircraft cockpit
  • A B-1B bomber cockpit and Offensive/Defensive System Operators Simulator exhibit
  • A comprehensive space gallery that showcases the history of U.S. space flight and rocketry, from the Titan through to the Saturn V.
  • An exhibit describing the Stratobowl Balloon Launches from South Dakota in the 1930s
  • 61-0262 Rollin' Thunder – EC-135A (originally built as a KC-135A)

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