The Washington Post

Space Shuttle Discovery will fly over Washington area April 17

The space shuttle Discovery, background, switches places with its sister, Atlantis, foreground, at Kennedy Space Center on March 9, 2012 in Cape Canaveral, FL. (Bill O'Leary/WASHINGTON POST)

Weather permitting, the craft will fly at about 1,500 feet and the local flight is scheduled to occur between 10 and 11 a.m. that day, according to NASA. The agency will also be streaming the flight. After the flyover, the aircraft will land at Dulles International Airport.

The aircraft is expected to fly near a variety of landmarks, including the National Mall, Reagan National Airport, National Harbor and the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center. Last week, NASA sent T-38 jets into the skies over the D.C. area to scout a path for the shuttle.

According to NASA, Discovery completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles. In 2005, the shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center and was the first since the shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry in February 2003.

“Take note of what you saw here today,” NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin told reporters at the time. “There was the power and majesty of the launch, of course, but also the confidence, professionalism, and the sheer gall and grittiness of the team that pulled this program out of the depths of despair.”

According to The Post’s Maggie Fazeli Fard, the shuttle’s final delivery will be followed by an arrival ceremony on April 19, and a four-day public festival as the shuttle is retired to the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center.


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