The Space Shuttle arrives Tuesday. During its fly-in from the Kennedy Space Flight Center to the Metro Area, the Smithsonianâ€™s National Air and Space Museum is encouraging people to look skyward to witness the sight.
The chance to see the historic orbiter from NASA is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Space Shuttle Discovery is expected to fly over the Washington, D.C. area between 10:00 and 11:00 am. Then it will land at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Thousands of area students, local residents and tourists will flock to spots across the region to view the Space Shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a modified Boeing 747, as it lands in Washington. Here are a few of the very best spots to get a glimpse of the Shuttle as it circles Washington:
- The National Mall.
- The Washington Monument.
- The Lincoln Memorial.
- Hains Point at East Potomac Park.
- 14th Street Bridge.
- Southwest Waterfront Park.
- Long Bridge Park, 475 Long Bridge Drive, Arlington, Virginia.
- Old Town Alexandria waterfront.
- Gravelly Point Park.
- National Harbor.
For motorists, the Smithsonianâ€™s National Air and Space Museum recommends these safety tips for spotting the Space Shuttle, as provided by AAA Mid-Atlantic:
- Donâ€™t let anyone or anythingâ€”even a Space Shuttle overheadâ€”distract you.
- For safe shuttle-spotting, pull off the road and park your car.
- Do not text or share your impressions on your cell phone until you have parked in a safe spot.
- As always, drive defensively to avoid distractions from pedestrians or other motorists.
- Consider going to one of these great gathering places to spot the Space Shuttle (Click here).
One great place to view the orbiter as it approaches Dulles Airport is Sully Historic Site, just across the street from the Udvar-Hazy Center. Visitors are invited to bring breakfast and join fellow shuttle spotters in the parking area. The parking lot will open at 8 a.m. There is a $10 admission fee to the park that morning which includes a tour of the historic house.
The actual touchdown at the airport will not be visible but arrangements are being made to broadcast the arrival on NASA TV, the web, and through media coverage. After the shuttle arrives, it will be taken to another area of the airport, where it will be separated from the 747 and made ready for towing to the Udvar-Hazy Center in preparation for the Welcome Discovery Festival beginning April 19.
The date for the fly in is weather dependent.
For more information on how you can witness this historic occasion at Sully, call 703-437-1794.