Shuttle Discovery to buzz DC next Tuesday


Discovery hitches a ride on NASA's modified 747 in 2005. (Photo courtesy of NASA/Lori Losey)

Washingtonians will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime sight on April 17: The Space Shuttle Discovery buzzing the nation’s capital.

NASA yesterday announced that Discovery will cross over Washington and surrounding areas that day as it makes its way to its final home at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. If you’re anywhere near its flight path, expect to get a good look — the Boeing 747 carrying Discovery will only be 1,500 feet off the ground at times. (The Hill points out that the Washington Monument is roughly 555 feet high, to give you a frame of reference.)

The exact flight path hasn’t been set yet, but NASA plans to fly it by the National Mall, Reagan National Airport, National Harbor, and the Udvar-Hazy Center before landing at Dulles.

So if you’re in or around Washington next Tuesday, get your cameras ready and expect all work to grind to a halt between 10 and 11 a.m. It’ll undoubtedly be something to see.


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  1. want to photo Discovery over DC…specifically over the US AF Pentagon..will it fly over from the MALL..can you inform me …I love AF Mem and as a brat want to photo it there


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