In 1974 the Presentation and Education Division at the National Air and Space Museum was organized to develop and implement educational programs and operate the theater and planetarium planned for the new museum, then being built. A thirty-foot domed planetarium, called the Experimentarium, went into operation in the Arts and Industries Building to serve as a trial ground for the seventy-foot structure being planned. In 1975 the Federal Republic of Germany gave the United States, as a Bicentennial gift, a Zeiss planetarium projector for the planetarium. The planetarium was dedicated as the Albert Einstein Spacearium and opened in July 1976.
Von Del Chamberlain served as Chief of the Presentation and Education Division, 1974-1978, and Charles G. Barbely was Planetarium Officer, 1976-1978. In 1978, Presentation and Education was divided, with the Planetarium remaining with Presentation under Von Del Chamberlain until 1980. In that year the Planetarium became independent and the position of chief was vacant. In 1981 the Planetarium was placed under the Exhibits and Presentation Division, with Richard D. Crawford as Chief and Thomas H. Callen, II, as Chief of the Planetarium Unit. James H. Sharp served as Chief of the unit, 1983- . Since 1983, the Planetarium has been moved around the administrative hierarchy a number of times, from Space Science and Exploration, to Museum Operations, to Exhibits and Production Operations, and finally to Interpretive Programs, 1989- .