NASA's famous space shuttle from the 1980s, Discovery, will fly over the metro area on the back of a Boeing 747 on Tuesday, April 17.
Local residents can catch a glimpse of the space shuttle orbiter as it travels from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to . Discovery will fly over the National Mall, Reagan National Airport, National Harbor, and the Smithsonian's , Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. DC-area flyovers will take place between 10 and 11 a.m. It will eventually find a permanent home at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
In Virginia, a number will be available that passes along reports of the shuttle's whereabouts, 703-572-4100. In Maryland and Washington, D.C. the number will be 202-633-9100. People can also check on Discovery's progress online.
NASA says that the best place to view Discovery's descent into the airport will be the parking lot of the Udvar-Hazy Center, though the actual touchdown will not be visible. The Smithsonian does charge a $15 fee for parking, though admission to the museum is free. The lot opens at 8 a.m.
Discovery first launched on Aug. 30, 1984, on a mission to deploy three communications satellites. It was NASA's third space shuttle orbiter. It has completed more than 30 successful missions—more than any other orbiter in NASA's fleet. Its missions included carrying the Hubble Space Telescope into space in 1990 and two subsequent times to service the telescope.