Skip to comments.Shuttle Discovery retires with Washington flypast
Posted on 04/17/2012 12:05:10 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
One of Nasa's retired space shuttles has made a dramatic flypast over the centre of the US capital on the way to its final resting place in a museum.
Discovery flew over the monuments along the National Mall in Washington DC at about 10:00 EST (14:00 GMT).
Piggy-backing on a modified Boeing 747, Discovery was flying at an altitude of about 1,500ft (457m), Nasa said.
The shuttle programme ended in 2011. Discovery will be on show at the Air and Space Museum in Virginia.
After circling four times over the Washington Monument, and passing the National Mall over Capitol Hill, the shuttle landed at Dulles Airport, a few miles outside Washington DC.
From there it will be towed to the nearby Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where it will be on permanent display.
During the flypast, onlookers lined the roofs of the capital's buildings and the route to the airport, wanting to catch a glimpse of the shuttle.
Earlier, crowds of onlookers gathered along the Florida shoreline as dawn broke on Tuesday to see the shuttle take off from Kennedy Space Center.
Cheers broke out from the estimated 2,000-strong crowd as the aircraft left the runway, the Associated Press reported.
Dozens of former shuttle workers and Nasa veterans were reported to be among the onlookers.
Discovery then passed low over a packed beach and made one final turn back over the runway at the space complex before climbing towards a cruising altitude.
The aircraft's fuselage was illuminated by the early Florida sunshine for moments before it headed out of sight on its journey up the East Coast.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
-Discovery was Nasa’s third operational shuttle, launched on 30 August 1984
-Carried Hubble Telescope into space in 1990
-Flew 39 missions - more than any other ship in Nasa’s fleet
-Participated in both the “Return to Flight” missions, after the Challenger and Columbia disasters
-Named after boats that undertook historic voyages of exploration, such as the vessel that discovered Hawaii and searched for the Northwest Passage
I can’t help believe that as a country our manned capability is over
Get a room!!
I cried today thinking the very same think.
Barack Obama is the biggest mistake ever voted into any office in this country. If there was a poster boy for abortion, it should be Barack Hussein Obama.
Nothing to see here people, move along.
I saw the shuttle fly by my building THREE times! It was wonderful, but sad as well.
I recall very well the first shuttle flight. It was a wonderful event for science AND the nation.
Mr. Obama has imagination only for wasteful government spending.
The manned space program gave America pride and lots of useful technology.
The Democrats and with the help of willing Republicans efforts to bankrupt our nation will make it very difficult to move forward on space travel.
It really is treason.
Great view for the workers on the scaffolding!
As much as I love this comment, the shuttle is 40+ year old technology.
If the followup to the Apollo program had been building a base on the moon, think about what it would be like today some 40+ years later.
Yes it is old technology but it still boggles the mind that NASA didn’t not keep at least on shuttled moth-balled at Kennedy Space Center.
Tried to catch if flying up the coast, but, it was just too cloudy here.
I did see the Enterprise do a similar flyover about 30 years ago.
How awful....Never thought an Imposter would do away with our wonderful space program....Hope Romney restore’s it....
We were fortunate to see it fly over today. It was thrilling and sad. The American spirit is stronger than any president.
Cost of Shuttle program in recent years - $3 billion a year
Cost of Cash for Clunkers - $3 billion
Cost Stimulus - $787 billion
2011 expenditures - $3.36 trillion
Percent of federal budget the shuttle program would have been -0.09%
How long does it take for the feds to spend $3 billion in 2011? 8 hours