Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Welcome to D.C., Discovery!

Don't miss the video down below!

Yesterday, while driving on a summer-like April afternoon, I tuned in to WTOP and found out that the Discovery Space Shuttle was being transported to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. I was going bonkers and was having a hard time staying on the road. I am a space and space travel fan and I am absolutely in love with the whole idea. The Smithsonian Space Museum in D.C. was a dream come true visit for me in 2001 and I have yet to revisit to freshen my memory and catch a glimpse of the latest. Last year when I found out that 4 space shuttles are retiring, and space shuttle Enterprise would be coming to the Virginia annex of the Smithsonian, I was going wild with excitement. I tried to visit it in the Winter break but fate was no on my side. This is yet another good news ...

Of course, I knew I won't be the one storming right into D.C. with the rest of the planet to catch a glimpse of the shuttle, but I was all ears nevertheless. It happened TODAY! As the news presenters at WTOP said "HISTORY WAS MADE".
There were traffic jams on highways to D.C. because ... everybody was there. Excited kids were screaming in shaky voices on the radio about how they thought it was totally worth it to skip school to see the shuttle.
Watch the video, compiled by the Smithsonian Center, as the shuttle takes a trip around National Mall, D.C. to pay tribute to the capital. This is insane!

A student at my sister's university snapped this shot as the shuttle flew by! Lucky fellow.

Some News Clippings to Treasure

NASA’s Discovery shuttle wows Washington in 45-minute flyover

"An aerial art show pulled thousands of Washingtonians out of their offices, vehicles and homes Tuesday morning as NASA’s space shuttle Discovery blew into town atop a modified 747, the battered space veteran taking a final victory jaunt before landing at Dulles International Airport just after 11 a.m. A quiet retirement awaits Discovery, which blasted into space 39 times — more than any other NASA spacecraft — and is transitioning from rumbling launchpad hero to silent museum piece." (Brian Vastag, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Washington Post)

by Kerry Sheridan (AFP) - April 17, 2012, Google Hosted News

"Discovery flew its last mission to space in February and March of last year, on a 13-day trip to the International Space Station. It is the oldest and most traveled craft in the US collection of three space-flying shuttles -- also including Endeavour and Atlantis -- and one prototype, the Enterprise, which never flew in space. Two other shuttles were destroyed in flight. Challenger disintegrated shortly after liftoff in 1986 and Columbia broke apart on re-entry to Earth in 2003. Both disasters killed everyone on board. Discovery spent a total of 365 days in space, and flew nearly 149 million miles (241 million kilometers), NASA's mission control said. Discovery was the first of the three shuttles to retire last year. Endeavour began its final trip to space in April and the 30-year US program ended after Atlantis returned to Earth for the last time in July 2011. Russia is now the only nation capable of sending astronauts to space aboard its Soyuz capsules."

Space shuttle Discovery salutes nation's capital

Associated Press, April 17, 2012, Published by Los Angeles Times
"The space shuttle Discovery soared over the Washington Monument, the White House and the Capitol in a high-flying salute to the nation's capital Tuesday. “Look at that — that thing is mammoth,” said Terri Jacobsen of Bethesda, Md. She brought her 12-year-old home-schooled son to the mall to watch the flyover. The shuttle-jet combo was set to land at Dulles International Airport. On Thursday, it will be towed to its permanent installation at the Smithsonian's annex in northern Virginia."

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