Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), makes its way past Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on April 17 in Arlington, Va. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
Yesterday the shuttle 'Discovery' flew from Florida to DC where it will be put on permanent display at the Air and Space Museum. No, you will not be able to crawl through it and pretend you are an astronaut, but yes you will be able to see an amazing piece of US space flight history. Members of the Physics Buzz team were lucky enough to watch the flight at the NASA Goddard Space Center. Views may have been better downtown, but seeing the fly-over with a huge crowd of NASA scientists and their space-enthusiat family and friends was quite an experience. One employee's children even brought their stuffed shuttles. Here is a video of this great event.
There are many other videos from varying places around DC, but I have to say that watching it from a NASA facility was very much a highlight. Hundreds of people of all ages gathered for the show. One of the most interesting things is that as it flew over, no one seemed to know whether to cheer or mourn. It was a sea of mixed emotions. To me, space flight was defined by these shuttles. My whole life the image of the black and white, flag adorned space ships was the definition of human space exploration. I was of the group that was mourning.