The space shuttle Discovery makes one final flight, on top of a Boeing 747, flying low and slow over much of Washington, D.C. The sight drew masses of people looking to the skies at places like the National Mall, as the AP’s Lee Powell found.
Discovery departed just after sunrise and arrived in the Washington, D.C. area around 10 a.m. Discovery was displayed with a 45-minute flyover in multiple circles around the Capitol, White House, the Mall and much of the Potomac River while in the piggyback configuration on a modified Boeing 747. A NASA T-38 chase plane was dwarfed by the Boeing 747.
After arriving at Dulles International Airport, the space shuttle Discovery will be moved on April 19 to the nearby Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center for permanent public display.
NASA VIDEO: Space shuttle Discovery was lifted and placed atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility mate/demate device in the early morning hours of April 15 in preparation for its ride to Washington Dulles International Airport on April 17.
Washington Times Video: The Space Shuttle Discovery Lands at Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.
Washington Times Video: Touchdown at Dulles.
The anticipation and excitement of Space Shuttle Discovery’s final flight – a landing atop a 747 at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC / Chantilly, VA near Sully.
NASA Video: The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft ferrying orbiter Discovery performs a flyby at Dulles International Airport on Apr. 17 following its journey from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Want to be an astronaut? Follow the advice of Dr. Anna Fisher — the first mother to fly in space:
Dr. Anna Fisher pulled a boy named Ethan out of the crowd. He was dressed up as a NASA pilot. Fisher asked him if he wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up. Ethan answered, “Yes.” A reporter asked Fisher, “Any advice for Ethan, an aspiring astronaut?” Fisher replied, “Study Russian.”