Video: Space Shuttle Discovery's final journey is complete Special
Discovery made her final voyage this week and has moved to Fairfax County, Va. to the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.
Yesterday morning thousands of visitors came to see Discovery
arrive from Dulles International Airport and witness a transfer ceremony
, as NASA gave custody of the space shuttle to the Smithsonian.
Spectators had witnessed the shuttles Enterprise and Discovery come nose-to-nose, a historical event.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden spoke of Discovery
during the ceremony about her move into the National Air and Space Museum to join other historic air and space craft, "that have changed our world and helped us turn science fiction into science fact and realized that what seemed to many what seemed impossible dreams."
"From her first flight in 1984, Discover
y flew 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited Earth 5,830 times, and traveled, get this, traveled 148,221,675 million miles, yes we do keep track of that stuff precisely," Bolden said.
Over time nearly 250 astronauts have flown on Discovery
. Fifteen Discovery
commanders were present yesterday at the Steven F. Hazy-Udvar Center.
After a long career, Discovery
has been retired and now embarks upon her next mission which NASA noted is to educate and inspire future astronauts and engineers. From today forward people of all ages, and perhaps especially future generations, can learn about this important piece of history and view it up close.
A day full of events at the museum, the afternoon was slated for Discovery
to make the final move into her new home in the Smithsonian Museum. Just after 4:30 p.m. the space shuttle was moved into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar for permanent display.
Earlier in the day, Senator and Astronaut John Glenn said, "Today Discovery
takes on a new mission, less dynamic perhaps, but none the less important. She will be on display not only as a testament of events of our time, but also as an inspiration for future generations."
"She will be a symbol for our nation…space flight that presents optimism and hope and challenge and leadership and aspirations to explore and to excel. And that's a big mission in its own right."
It's a mission that will now continue in Northern Virginia for all to experience and reflect upon.
Those present for Discovery's final move
into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar witnessed an emotional day, an unforgettable one.
Today will be the first full day Discovery
can be visited in her new home at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.