Shuttle Discovery flies over nation's capital

April 17, 2012 at 1:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- Washington was treated to the sight of a space shuttle flying overhead as the orbiter Discovery was carried atop a 747 jet heading for its retirement home.

Crowds watched as the shuttle was carried over the nation's capital before landing at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, from where it will head to its new home in a Dulles-area annex of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

The much publicized event prompted the Mid-Atlantic AAA to caution motorists: "Don't let anyone or anything -- even a space shuttle overhead -- distract you'' and "For safe shuttle-spotting, pull off the road and park your car."

A similar flyover of a 747 carrying the shuttle Enterprise is planned for the New York City area next week, and there may be a repeat for the Endeavor in Los Angeles this fall, as both those shuttles head for museums in those cities, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A ceremony Thursday at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex of the at the National Air and Space Museum will feature Discovery crew members and space pioneer John Glenn, who returned to space in 1998 aboard the Discovery at age 77.

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