Good Night, Space Shuttle
April 17, 2012
SPACE shuttle Discovery was the workhorse of NASA’s retired orbiter fleet. It clocked 365 days and 148 million miles in space, ferrying the likes of John Glenn, the Hubble telescope and 180 astronauts into the cosmos over a three decade career.
But with the end of NASA’s shuttle program, the now-sedentary spacecraft hitched its final ride today – not on a rocket, but on a customised jumbo jet – to be hauled from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre (KSC) to its Virginia retirement home.
After treating the nation’s capital to a spectacular flyover, Discovery landed at Washington’s Dulles airport shortly after 11am local time atop a Boeing 747 specially adapted by NASA to be used as a shuttle carrier.
By the end of this week, it will be pried off the aircraft and put on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum’s Steven F Udvar-Hazy Centre, just south of Dulles in Chantilly, Virginia.
148 million miles. Wow.
Oh, someone already has a video of the Washington Monument flyover:
Oh, wow. Check out this shot.
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