Space shuttle Discovery arrived safely at Dulles International Airport late this morning after a 3 hour flight from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Thousands of spectators lined streets, roof tops, parks, and other establishments to welcome NASA’s fleet leading space shuttle as she flew low over the Washington D.C. area. People even stopped in traffic and pulled alongside roads to watch the space shuttle announce her arrival.
NASA’s fleet leading orbiter will be put on permanent public display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the coming days, replacing shuttle prototype Enterprise. Enterprise will be flown to New York City’s JFK International Airport next week atop the same 747 shuttle carrier aircraft that delivered Discovery, going on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in the coming months.
The Smithsonian has plenty of events scheduled over the next several days to welcome Discovery to her new home, kicking off April 19th with the ‘Welcome Discovery Ceremony’. Discovery will be officially transferred by NASA into the Smithsonian’s collection in an outdoor ceremony open to the public on that day.
For more information about the Smithsonian’s plans to celebrate Discovery’s arrival, visit their website at http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/discovery
Photos Credit: Mark Usciak and Rob Malda