Barring bad weather, NASA said the space shuttle Discovery mounted atop the space agency’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft will make a series of low passes – 1,500 ft. around parts of Washington DC on April 17 between 10-11 am eastern daylight time.
The exact route and timing of the flight, which has the blessing of the Federal Aviation Administration, depends on weather and operational constraints, NASA said. The aircraft/shuttle combo is expected to fly near a variety of landmarks including the National Mall, Reagan National Airport and National Harbor.
After its done taking a tour of the area, the aircraft will land at Dulles Airport which is next door to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center where Discovery will be towed and ultimately displayed.
The other retiring shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis will make their retirement trips later this year with Endeavor taking the piggyback 747 flight from Florida to Los Angeles this fall. Atlantis will be transported from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in November, NASA said.