Spaceship Circles DC Region Tuesday Morning
Did you see the shuttle? Add your photos to Patch!
Update (Tuesday, 12:45 p.m.): Did you get a photo of the shuttle? Add your photos to Patch by clicking on a green "Upload Photos and Videos" button (to the left of this text and at the top of this post).
Original post (Monday, 4:45 p.m.): Have you ever seen a spaceship fly through the sky?
It's not an entirely hypothetical question.
On Tuesday morning, April 17, the space shuttle Discovery is slated to circle the Washington, DC, region as it makes its final trip—riding piggyback on a 747 airplane—from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the shuttle's "retirement home," the Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, according to The Washington Post.
Before it makes its final landing, the space shuttle, which has made 39 trips into space since 1984 and is NASA's oldest surviving shuttle, will make "a spectacular flyover visible to much of the [DC] region," The Post reported.
The shuttle-and-747 combo will leave Florida at 7 a.m., weather permitting, arrive in the DC area at around 10 a.m., and circle the nation's capital in a 40-minute aerial tour.
NASA and National Air and Space Museum officials are not releasing the exact flight plan, due to security concerns, but the shuttle will likely fly over the Maryland side of the Capital Beltway, The Post reported.
The Air and Space Museum encourages people to tweet photos of the shuttle as it flies overhead to #spottheshuttle.
The shuttle has a long and important history.
"Discovery's list of achievements include delivering the Hubble Space Telescope to orbit, carrying the first Russian cosmonaut to launch on a U.S. spaceship, performing the first rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir with the first female shuttle pilot in the cockpit, returning Mercury astronaut John Glenn to orbit, and bringing shuttle flights back to life after the Challenger and Columbia accidents," the Associated Press reported.