The Smithsonian Museum of Technology is one of the few more or less intact buildings in the National Mall. However, it shows clear signs of the bombings in the area; the building is crumbling, with pillars falling out of place and visible holes in the roof, and the attractions have been heavily damaged.
Several exhibits have survived the years following the Great War. The original plane successfully flew by the Wright brothers (the Wright Flyer) is the airplane that lays in pieces on the floor just inside the museum entrance. In the atrium, inside the first stall of the men's bathroom, a microfusion cell trap can be found. Inside the toilet's water tank are 35 microfusion cells.
Deeper inside the museum, one can find two more airplanes. Hanging from the ceiling in the same room as the Virgo II lunar lander is a Mustang. There is another of this airplane also on display by the Capitol Preservation Society in Rivet City. In the west wing of the museum, partially buried in the rubble is an unnamed model of fighter jet, the same model as the jets resting on the deck of the Rivet City aircraft carrier.
Another large exhibit is a Vault-Tec Corporation demonstration vault model on the second floor, through which one must go in order to reach the Virgo II lander. It serves as a demonstration of what vault life would be like and displays the various technologies used by Vault-Tec in constructing the vaults. It consists of a hallway with windows that show examples of different vault sections. The rooms of the exhibit include a bedroom, kitchen, and classroom. One of the displays in the vault exhibition promises that a self-cleaning floor means residents "will never have to sweep again". A few feet further in the corridor is a skeleton holding a broom near a cleaning cart. Most of the containers within the Vault-Tech demonstration vault are functional containers, sometimes containing loot.
Next to the windows are speakers which play recorded messages. Several gun and armor exhibits scheduled both before and after 2077, including laser pistols and power armor and "antique" weapons, are alluded to in the Research Lead notes and Lead Curator (security terminal) notes, and a sub-basement with three fusion generators in the maintenance coordinator's notes, but neither armaments exhibits nor the sub-basement can be found in the museum.
Two exhibits on the ground floor near the Delta rocket celebrate the first human space flight of Carl Bell as taking place on May 5, 1961 in the space capsule Defiance 7. There is a control room to the south, up the southernmost stairs in the back. Its windows are visible from the entry hall, behind a wire mesh most likely installed by Derek Remmings, the maintenance coordinator in 2077. The maintenance computer to the east has a list of log entries by Remmings, detailing office politics from long ago.
The museum also contains a malfunctioning Copernicus planetarium in the northern section of the west wing. The program will begin playing when the Lone Wanderer enters the room but eventually malfunctions and enters a continuous loop. Through the planetarium there are three terminals with "Far Out Space Facts". There is an office on the east side of the room containing a terminal for a pre-war researcher, a Nuka-Cola Quantum, and a locked gun cabinet containing various weapons and ammo. Upon exiting the office two super mutants will spawn in the planetarium entrance.
|Type 1861 "Springfield" Rifle-Musket|
The Type 1861 "Springfield" Rifle-Musket was the standard weapon for the infantry soldier in the American Civil War. It was a muzzle-loaded weapon which fired a .58 caliber "Minie Ball" using percussion caps instead of the traditional flintlock. Almost a million of these weapons were manufactured for the soldiers during the war. On loan from the International Ordnance Museum, these cases display the various types of weapons and ammunition used by the military in past conflicts all over the globe.
|M199 "The Backtalker"|
Perhaps the most well-recognized weapon in the modern U.S. Military arsenal, the M199 earned its nickname "The Backtalker" from the unusual report the firing mechanism makes as it ejects a spent shell. Firing standard 5.56mm rounds, the M199 is still the official infantry weapon of the U.S. Army. On loan from the International Ordnance Museum, these cases display the various types of weapons and ammunition used by the military in past conflicts all over the globe.
|X277 "Viper" Magnetic Rail Cannon|
This is the only known prototype of the X277 "Viper" Magnetic Rail Cannon developed for the U.S. Military by West-Tek. Also commonly referred to as a "Railgun", the weapon uses energy cells to propel a depleted uranium round across a series of magnets discharging it at extremely high velocity. Deemed too costly to produce on a mass scale, the project was abandoned in 2044. On loan from the International Ordnance Museum, these cases display the various types of weapons and ammunition used by the military in past conflicts all over the globe.
|U.S.S. Ebon Atoll||This flag was recovered from the wreck of the U.S.S. Ebon Atoll, a U.S. Navy Missile Cruiser, sunk off the coast of Alaska in 2066 with all hands lost. The cutting edge vessel's loss was due to a nuclear torpedo strike from the U.S. Navy Submarine, the U.S.S. Interference during the Anchorage Campaign. The submarine mistook the cruiser for an enemy vessel during radio silence and sunk it before obtaining visual confirmation. This ranks as one of the most tragic disasters in U.S. Naval History since World War II.|
|Valiant 12 flag||This unusual flag was recovered from the surface of the moon by the very last manned flight to its surface in 2052. The flag is from the old "Valiant 12" Virgo III Lunar Lander that touched down November 14, 1969. Its remarkable condition can be attributed to its construction; the flag is actually made of special materials to withstand the harsh environment of space.|
|Honorary Medal Case||The medals in this case were typically awarded to American pilots in World War II. From left to right, top row to bottom: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Cross, Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.|
|American Inventors||These portraits created by the renown Contemporary Artist Lincoln Myers depict some of the more overlooked American Inventors. From top to bottom, left to right: Richard G. Drew (adhesive tape, 1925), James Ritty (cash register, 1879), Carl C. Magee (parking meter, 1935) and Mary Anderson (windshield wiper, 1903).|
|Delta IX rocket||The Delta IX Rocket was donated by the United States Space Administration and by a grant from the United States Department of Antiquities.|
|Carl Bell||This is the actual skeleton of Captain Carl Bell who died on May 5, 1961 after his Space Capsule crash landed. Captain Bell is credited as being the first human in space on board the Space Capsule Defiance 7, but this has been constantly refuted by both the Soviet Union and China. Defiance 7's fight lasted for a total of 12 minutes and 7 seconds as it achieved one full revolution around the Earth. Donated by Edwina Bell.|
|Carl Bell||This is the actual USSA Deep Space Suit worn by Captain Carl Bell on May 5, 1961. Captain Bell is credited as being the first human in space on board the Space Capsule Defiance 7, but this has been constantly refuted by both the Soviet Union and China. Defiance 7's flight lasted for a total of 12 minutes and 7 seconds as it achieved one full revolution around the Earth.|
|RobCo "Stealth Boy" Model 3001 Personal Stealth Device||This is the RobCo "Stealth Boy" Model 3001 Personal Stealth Device. Developed by Robert Mayflower, the Stealth Boy generates a modulating field that transmits the reflected light from one side of an object to the other making the bearer almost invisible to the untrained eye.|
|Vertibird||This is a scaled model of a prototype military transport vehicle being developed by the U.S. Military. The XVB02 "Vertibird" is a VTOL ("Vertical Take Off and Landing") craft with an extremely durable armored fuselage and can be armed with a variety of offensive weapons and defensive countermeasures. This is the most advanced aircraft of its kind ever developed, and the military hopes to press them into service by 2085.|
|Valiant 11||On July 16, 1969, the Virgo II Lunar Lander "Valiant 11" became the very first manned space vehicle to touch down on the moon. The Valiant 11's crew consisted of Captain Richard Wade, Captain Mark Garris and Captain Michael Hagen of the USSA. We salute these brave and noble men who took the very first steps on a planetary body other than our own.|
|Wright Flyer||The aircraft above is the original Wright Flyer I designed by Orville and Wilbur Wright. On December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the vehicle performed its maiden flight for a mere 12 seconds, covering a distance of only 120 feet. This historic event marked the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight.|
- A Nikola Tesla and You skill book can be found on the second floor of the atrium, in the turret control room on the right of the maintenance computer.
- There are three Stealth Boys on display in the museum, complete with little plaques describing them: one in the main entrance of the atrium (southwest corner), and two more up the main stairs to the left in the entry room leading to the 'Halls of Today' exhibit. The Stealth Boys are much bigger than normal Stealth Boys found out in the wasteland.
- There are two hidden areas in the room with the multi-level staircase surrounding the Delta IX rocket. Starting from the lower floor, go up the stairs to the second floor, you will see two consoles that say 'Activate Delta IX rocket'. Just to the left of both consoles is a plaque, and to the left of that is the railing that guides its way to a thin ledge on the outside of the stairs for the third floor. At each gap, instead of going up the stairs (second floor stairs, and third), jump up onto the room railing, then down onto the little ledge that runs along the outside of the stairs. Follow the ledge to each hidden area.
- In the planetarium office, there is a Nuka-Cola Quantum on the shelf.
- Gun locker key - In a safe in the museum's security office, opens a gun cabinet in the planetarium.
In the atrium, there is an unlit "Museum Information" terminal inside the translucent cowls usually used for telephones. It displays, below the usual menu items, a message from Prime to Jiggs, beginning the minor quest about a weapons cache in the security office (west of the planetarium) safe. Properly entering codes at this terminal and two other "Museum Information" terminals activate a password that is automatically entered when the terminal near the safe is accessed, unlocking the safe. The second password terminal is in the west wing, and the third by the rocket; see the Jiggs' Loot article for locations and passcodes.
The immediate reward inside the safe is the key to the gun cabinet in the planetarium office, containing a missile launcher, some missiles, and two pulse grenades. There is a further, greater, reward: Prime's corpse, with the Xuanlong assault rifle, only spawns if the three correct numbers are chosen.
Galaxy News Radio
In exchange for information about one's father, Three Dog requests a favor. One must recover a satellite dish from the Virgo II Lunar Lander in order to broaden the station's signal, as the one on top of the Washington Monument was destroyed. If successful, Galaxy News Radio can be broadcast over the rest of the Wasteland instead of it being limited to just the D.C. area.
- Occasionally, the P-51 Mustang may be found broken into pieces, some having landed on the floor and some floating in the air. This may be in response to the tcl command on PC, or it may be caused by weapons damage on the plane (such as a missile launcher).
- The presentation vault's door is rolled behind the vault wall; the number is only visible through a crack; when inspected using console commands it is revealed it to be Vault 106.
- The room with the Virgo II is divided into two halves by a big pile of rubble that cannot be traversed from where one enters the west wing. The super mutants near the Virgo II do not spawn until the player character is near that half of the room via the various corridors leading to it.
- When fighting the super mutants in the planetarium, if one of them is injured, it will flee towards the locked gun cabinet and pull out a variety of weapons, including a missile launcher, to attack once more.
The Museum of Technology appears only in Fallout 3. The same Museum of Technology posters from Fallout 3 can be found in Fallout: New Vegas in various locations, and can be built in C.A.M.P.s in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
- The museum occupies the real-world site of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
- The narration of the curtailed planetarium show is an impersonation of the famous astronomer Carl Sagan.
|The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and is speculative and may not be accurate.|
- On a semicircular desk in the atrium, a number of pencils and one bottle cap are arranged to form the logo of the gaming news website Shacknews.
- A flag on the lobby balcony references a destroyed ship named Ebon Atoll, which is likely a reference to Black Isle Studios. They note it was "torpedoed" (lit. sabotaged) by a friendly.
- There is a collection of references to L.A. death/industrial metal band Fear Factory. There are two separate computer terminals, one in the lobby and one in the planetarium, where you can access the research lead's notes. The first journal entry contains notes regarding the Archetype Model FF06 Mainframe. "FF" is an acronym of Fear Factory. "Archetype" is the title of their most popular song, while the lines "The infection has been removed... the soul of this machine has improved" are lyrics verbatim to the song "Archetype". Furthermore, the author of the notes, Research Lead "B. Bell" is a reference to Fear Factory's lead vocalist, Burton C. Bell.
- In the room with the lunar lander, there is a terminal that provides information about various exhibits. For the Flight Exhibit, it states that it is sponsored by Lockreed Industries. This is a reference to the Lockheed Martin Corporation a company that manufactures military aircraft.
- In the atrium on the first terminal involved in the Jiggs' Loot quest, there is a list of upcoming exhibits and presentations. Among these is information on a lecture called "Oppenheimer"s Folly" being presented by a professor R.J. Gumbie. This is a reference to a recurring group of characters on Monty Python's Flying Circus. All these characters have a first and middle initial along the lines of R.J. or R.M. and the last name Gumby, have the title of professor, wear bizarre clothing, and have very severe brain damage, leaving one to question how they got their titles in the first place. It is unknown whether the professor giving the presentation had the latter two commonalities, or if the only similarity is the name.
- The Virgo II moon landing mission's lunar lander on display in the museum illustrates the gradual divergence of the Fallout universe with the real one. The lunar lander module that we see in the game is called Valiant 11, while in the real world, it was called the Eagle and belonged to the Apollo 11 moon landing mission. Also, the design of the lander in the museum is not that of the NASA LEM (Lunar Excursion Module), but that of the Soviet LK or Lunniy Korabl (Lunar Lander). The names of the astronauts who made the first landing are also different than those in our universe.
- The date Carl Bell became the first American in space is the date of the flight of the first real American in space, Alan Shepard, aboard the Freedom 7 Mercury 3 capsule. Note that Shepard did not orbit the earth and that his sub-orbital flight lasted only fifteen minutes. In our real-world timeline, the first human spaceflight was Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961, aboard which Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made one orbit around the Earth.
- In one of the exhibits around the rocket, we can see the American flag that was supposedly recovered from the site of the original moon landing by the crew of the last mission to go there. The flag is not the Star-Spangled Banner of our world, but rather the "Commonwealth flag", as the US was divided into 13 regional commonwealths sometime between the end of the Second World War and the Virgo II's landing in 1969 and the flag was changed.
|End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.|