First Pass Complete, Discovery Is Heading To Do The Victory Laps Around the Washington DC Metro Area
April 17, 2012: Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) flying piggyback on NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) [Registration: N905NA] a specially modified Boeing 747-100 flying over the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum - Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Space Shuttle Discovery will on display inside the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.[DSC_6021-D7000]
Seeing Space Shuttle Discovery brought tears to my eyes. Words can not describe it. She made 2 fly-overs at the National Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The first pass with landing gear up, then she did her victory laps around the DC Metro area, then came back to the Udvar-Hazy Center for the final pass, this time with landing gear down and ready to land at Washington Dulles International Airport. On her final pass, as she vanished below the tree line, moments from landing; everyone applauded. After both passes, I had to wipe away the tears. A big thank you everyone to who took amazing care of Discovery during her amazing career.
Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s Shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles. "Having fired the imagination of a generation, a ship like no other, its place in history secured" - NASA mission control announcer Rob Navias.