After twenty-seven years of service, the retired Space Shuttle Discovery will be flying over the District tomorrow on its way to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is adjacent to Dulles International Airport.
If you want to see a Space Shuttle riding piggyback on a Boeing 747 (NASA put a video of the mating ritual on Youtube) or don’t want to make the trek out to Dulles to see Discovery when it goes on display on Thursday, find a rooftop or a high window between 10 and 10:45 a.m. tomorrow (approximately).
The Washington Post has a helpful graphic of the best places, including most of the Potomac River shoreline, to see the Shuttle as it passes over the D.C. metropolitan area. The Shuttle-mounted 747 will mainly stay at 1,500 feet, besides a few swoops closer to the ground.
Vox‘s suggested viewpoints are the Village A rooftop, the Leavey Esplanade, the top of the Car Barn, the rooftops of Nevils and Walsh, and the field above Yates. Some students in Village A, New South and the Southwest Quad may enjoy private shows, but most patient, space-minded Hoyas will have to find a rooftop.
Hoyas with internships or jobs in downtown buildings should have spectacular views. With a good weather forecast for tomorrow morning, the Mall is the place to be to watch Discovery fly overhead.
Disclaimer: The complexity of the fly-around means the NASA flight crew may cancel or abridge the tour at any time.
Photo: NASA/Lori Losey