Discovery flies over Washington. This was the first pass over the city, viewed from the Netherland Carillon bell tower. (Kevin Ambrose)

The National Park Service permitted the media to access to the Netherland Carillon’s tower Tuesday morning to photograph the space shuttle flying over Washington. The tower is usually closed to the public for safety reasons but offers one of the best views of Washington and the surrounding area.

Related: Reader photos - Discovery Shuttle flies over Washington, D.C.

The Capital Weather Gang shared a prime spot on the tower’s platform with NBC. Several other media groups lined the railing nearby.

Continue reading for more photos of Discovery.

Discovery flew very close to the Netherlands Carillon on three different passes over Washington. This was the second fly-over of the city. (Kevin Ambrose)

As we waited for Discovery to arrive, I was tempted to give the NBC cameramen some photography tips of how we shoot the monuments in this town but I doubt they would share my sense of humor so I just remained quiet. Ultimately, we did not have to wait long for Discovery to arrive.

The shuttle arrived over Rossyln at 9:55 AM and headed east toward Washington. It made at least three loops around the city before departing for Dulles Airport around 10:30 AM. The flight path of the loops varied and Discovery covered a lot of ground across the area.

It was quite a sight for us in the tower as the shuttle was visible for most of its loops around the city. Higher resolution images of Discovery’s Washington flyover scenes are available here.

Discovery flew close to the Netherlands Carillon. This was the third fly-over. (Kevin Ambrose)