AidSpace Blog

Shuttle Service to DC

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Much to the delight of large crowds below, Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), made several passes over the Washington, DC area yesterday. Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles. NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum to begin its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers. The ceremony will take place tomorrow, Thursday, April 19th at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Here is a selection of photographs from yesterday’s fly-over:

 

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The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft takes off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying Space Shuttle Discovery.

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Space Shuttle Discovery makes a low pass over a crowd at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

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Space Shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies near the U.S. Capitol.

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Space Shuttle Discovery, mounted on the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies near the Smithsonian Castle.

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A young spectator holds a model of space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), as the actual shuttle flies overhead.


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Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), making a low pass over spectators in Virginia.

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Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) approaches the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.

 

Spectators from across the Washington, DC area, NASA employees and Museum staff have contributed thousands of images to the Museum’s Space Shuttle Discovery Flickr group. If you took pictures of Discovery yesterday, please share them with us!

Ivey Doyal is web content manager for the National Air and Space Museum.

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5 thoughts on “Shuttle Service to DC

  1. With the Shuttle Discovery landing in Dulles, VA its time for the USA to return to Space. Our job is not finished. We need to support our astronauts in the international space station by ourselves. We shouldn’t have to pay the Russians to be our bus drivers. We use to deliver our products to our customers using vehicles made in USA. Its a sad day for me to have to be delivered to the Internation Space Station on a vehicle made in the USSR.If the space program matters to you…exercise your right to vote in November. Its your decision. Godspeed.

  2. Thanks for posting these pictures. I was upset that I was away and not able to see something so amazing. I appreciate the vivid and memorable photographs and descriptions!

  3. Reminds me of the opening scene from Dr. Strangelove! And amorous dragonflies. Absolutely beautiful photos!

  4. I just love the pictures, I wasn’t able to witness the fly-over of Discovery but looking at the beautiful photographs it feels like I’ve been there. Thank you for sharing.

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