Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Riding Into The Sunset
Well, not quite.
The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with space shuttle Discovery bolted to its top flies over Kennedy Space Center on the way to Washington, D.C. Photo credit: NASATV
Space shuttle Discovery took off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday morning atop a modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Departure came on-time at 7 a.m. as the sun was coming up over Florida's Atlantic coast. The Shuttle and aircraft combination flew low over the Kennedy vicinity before heading north to the Washington, D.C. area.
The transport of Discovery from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy annex at Dulles International Airport will include fly-bys around the Kennedy Space Center vicinity on departure and the Washington D.C. area upon arrival.
Accompanying the Ferry Flight will be a NASA C-9 “Pathfinder” (DC-9) and T-38 training jets. The T-38s will be positioned for aerial photography in the local areas – one in the Kennedy vicinity and two in the DC area.
Discovery leaves the Kennedy Space Center after more than 28 years of service beginning with its arrival on the space coast Nov. 9, 1983 to begin processing for its first launch Aug. 30, 1984.
The flight duration to Washington is expected to take about 3 1/2 hours, which includes the local fly-bys on each end of the trip. Upon arrival at Dulles, Discovery will be removed from the SCA and replaced by Enterprise, which has been on display at the museum since 1985. Discovery will be on display in the museum later this week. Enterprise then is scheduled to be transported on Monday, April 23 to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport where it will be removed and be barged at a later date to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum - its final home.
It's kinda like selling that first crappy car you had. Sad to see it go, but looking forward to a newer model...
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