Shuttle Discovery flyover dazzles D.C. area

  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Tom Couch, left, of Chantilly, Va., and Carlos Rodriguez of Dumfries, Va., wait outside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to see the space shuttle Discovery fly by on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport. "I'm just sad that it's ending," said Rodriguez of the shuttle program. "This is kind of a bucket list thing. Maybe my kids or grandkids will see another one, but I won't." (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Tom Couch, left, of Chantilly, Va., and Carlos Rodriguez of Dumfries, Va., wait outside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to see the space shuttle Discovery fly by on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport. "I'm just sad that it's ending," said Rodriguez of the shuttle program. "This is kind of a bucket list thing. Maybe my kids or grandkids will see another one, but I won't." (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • While dad Trevor feeds baby sister Brooke, 7 months, 3-year-old Henry Hawthorn, sporting his NASA astronaut uniform, hugs mom Kim as the family, from Ashburn, Va., waits outside the Smithsonian Institute Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to see the space shuttle Discovery fly by. Henry is a space junkie who had an outer space-themed birthday party. He and his family come to the museum often to check out all the planes and space stuff. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)While dad Trevor feeds baby sister Brooke, 7 months, 3-year-old Henry Hawthorn, sporting his NASA astronaut uniform, hugs mom Kim as the family, from Ashburn, Va., waits outside the Smithsonian Institute Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to see the space shuttle Discovery fly by. Henry is a space junkie who had an outer space-themed birthday party. He and his family come to the museum often to check out all the planes and space stuff. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Dennis Smyers, left, of Reston, Va., sits on IKEA shelves on top of his car to get a better view of the space shuttle Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. At right, Cheryl Baker of Centreville, Va., peeks her head out of her sunroof to get a view too. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Dennis Smyers, left, of Reston, Va., sits on IKEA shelves on top of his car to get a better view of the space shuttle Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. At right, Cheryl Baker of Centreville, Va., peeks her head out of her sunroof to get a view too. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Crowds pack the grassy knoll outside of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to watch the space shuttle Discovery fly piggyback on a 747, flight NASA 905. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Crowds pack the grassy knoll outside of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to watch the space shuttle Discovery fly piggyback on a 747, flight NASA 905. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Ayda Jones, 6, sits on her dad Jeff's shoulders while mom Nicole and sister Ella, 8, watch as the space shuttle Discovery flies towards the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April, 17, 2012. Nicholas Garbini, 5, of Reston, Va., dressed as an astronaut, checks out the scene too. "I saw the space program start," said Jeff Jones, "so it's kind of sad, but we're very proud of our astronauts." (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Ayda Jones, 6, sits on her dad Jeff's shoulders while mom Nicole and sister Ella, 8, watch as the space shuttle Discovery flies towards the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April, 17, 2012. Nicholas Garbini, 5, of Reston, Va., dressed as an astronaut, checks out the scene too. "I saw the space program start," said Jeff Jones, "so it's kind of sad, but we're very proud of our astronauts." (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • People photograph the space shuttle Discovery as it flies piggyback on a 747 past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)People photograph the space shuttle Discovery as it flies piggyback on a 747 past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • People photograph the space shuttle Discovery as it flies piggyback on a 747 past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)People photograph the space shuttle Discovery as it flies piggyback on a 747 past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The Space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • People stand atop a platform at the Washington National Cathedral as they wait for signs in the sky for the arrival of the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)People stand atop a platform at the Washington National Cathedral as they wait for signs in the sky for the arrival of the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral,the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above the Washington, D.C., area Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral,the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, in the skies above the Washington, D.C., area Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington, D.C. area, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington, D.C. area, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • A man waves as he joins others standing atop a platform on one of the towers at the Washington National Cathedral, watching as the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, makes it's way in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)A man waves as he joins others standing atop a platform on one of the towers at the Washington National Cathedral, watching as the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, makes it's way in the skies above Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington, D.C. area,Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)Seen from a tower at the Washington National Cathedral, the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is seen being carried piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, above the Washington, D.C. area,Tuesday, April 17, 2012, as it makes it's way to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)
  • "Timmy" the monkey joined the Think Geek crew as they watched the space shuttle Discovery fly past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Timmy has been to at least five shuttle launches. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)"Timmy" the monkey joined the Think Geek crew as they watched the space shuttle Discovery fly past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Timmy has been to at least five shuttle launches. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Kyra DeStefano, 7, of Ashburn, Va., left, and Molly Manning, 13, of South Riding, Va., right, wait next to the runway before the space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Kyra DeStefano, 7, of Ashburn, Va., left, and Molly Manning, 13, of South Riding, Va., right, wait next to the runway before the space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Jon Jelling of Leesburg, Va., Jim Sample of Manassas, Va. and Dane Smith of Fairfax, Va., set up their cameras to get a shot of the space shuttle Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Thousands of people came out to the museum to see the shuttle fly by on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Jon Jelling of Leesburg, Va., Jim Sample of Manassas, Va. and Dane Smith of Fairfax, Va., set up their cameras to get a shot of the space shuttle Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Thousands of people came out to the museum to see the shuttle fly by on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Andrew Albosta of Annandale, Va., brought a ladder to get a better shot of the space shuttle Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. "This is something I won't ever see again," he said, "and I saw the last liftoff of Discovery, so it's come full circle." (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Andrew Albosta of Annandale, Va., brought a ladder to get a better shot of the space shuttle Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. "This is something I won't ever see again," he said, "and I saw the last liftoff of Discovery, so it's come full circle." (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery does a flyby before arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Drew Schwartzman, left, 5, of Baltimore, Md., and Alexander Leigh, 3, of Round Hill, Va., play with toy shuttles outside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 as they wait for the space shuttle Discovery to fly by on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Drew Schwartzman, left, 5, of Baltimore, Md., and Alexander Leigh, 3, of Round Hill, Va., play with toy shuttles outside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 as they wait for the space shuttle Discovery to fly by on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Carrie Gouldin of Washington, D.C. with Think Geek holds "Timmy" the monkey as she takes video of the space shuttle Discovery flying past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Timmy has been to at least five shuttle launches. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Carrie Gouldin of Washington, D.C. with Think Geek holds "Timmy" the monkey as she takes video of the space shuttle Discovery flying past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Timmy has been to at least five shuttle launches. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • People photograph the Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)People photograph the Discovery as it flies past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Crowds pack the parking lot of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to watch the space shuttle Discovery fly piggyback on a 747, flight NASA 905. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Crowds pack the parking lot of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to watch the space shuttle Discovery fly piggyback on a 747, flight NASA 905. The shuttle left the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday morning and flew around Washington, D.C. before finally landing at Washington Dulles International Airport. Discovery will now be towed over to the Udvar-Hazy center, where it will take the place of the Enterprise in a welcoming ceremony on Thursday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Constance Rodenbarger sends a tweet after the space shuttle Discovery flew past the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Rodenbarger came all the way from Chicago to see the shuttle and says she will go to the ceremony on Thursday as well. She says she just changed her major and hopes to become an astronaut. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Constance Rodenbarger sends a tweet after the space shuttle Discovery flew past the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Rodenbarger came all the way from Chicago to see the shuttle and says she will go to the ceremony on Thursday as well. She says she just changed her major and hopes to become an astronaut. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery taxis on the runway after arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery taxis on the runway after arriving by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Kyra DeStefano, 7, of Ashburn, Va., and her mother, Secili, visit the runway where the space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Kyra DeStefano, 7, of Ashburn, Va., and her mother, Secili, visit the runway where the space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va. on Thursday, April 19th. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Joan Perry, of Stafor, Va., left, and Christine Rusbarsky, right, of Boston, Mass., photograph Brian Schuetz, center, as he pretends to lift the the space shuttle Discovery after it arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Joan Perry, of Stafor, Va., left, and Christine Rusbarsky, right, of Boston, Mass., photograph Brian Schuetz, center, as he pretends to lift the the space shuttle Discovery after it arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Visitors leave the runway where the space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Visitors leave the runway where the space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
The space shuttle Discovery arrives by 747 carrier aircraft at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2012. After completing 39 missions and spending 365 days in space, the historic spacecraft will make its final destination at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, located in Chantilly, Va., on Thursday, April 19. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
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Space Shuttle Discovery, the NASA orbiter that spent a year’s worth of time among the stars, completed its final journey Tuesday when it landed at Washington Dulles International Airport on the back of a Boeing 747.

Blunt-nosed and blemished, the worn spacecraft atop the jumbo jet elicited cheers from a crowd of thousands gathered around the airport to catch a glimpse of a moment in history.

“When are you ever going to see something like that again?” asked Daniel Pallotta, a Boston resident who drove down with his son to watch the shuttle landing. “You’re not. This was awe-inspiring.”

The Discovery, NASA’s longest-serving shuttle, traveled from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to its new permanent home at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.

Within hours of its landing, the 75-ton, 184-foot-long shuttle was moved to a secure location where crews worked to decouple it from the jet and prepare it for its close-up with its sister shuttle, Enterprise.

On Thursday, officials plan to face the two shuttles nose to nose before Discovery moves into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar attached to the museum.

The Enterprise, which never went into space, is set to become the shuttle-in-residence at New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

A public ceremony to commemorate the switch is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday and will includes a speech by astronaut and former Ohio Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth who flew on Discovery at the age of 77. Half of the Discovery’s 31 living commanders also will be there.

The space shuttle passed low over the Washington area for about an hour Tuesday before landing at Dulles shortly after 11 a.m., drawing spectators to gathering spots atop buildings, along the Mall, and along the Potomac River.

Motorists on the Capital Beltway and many other highways pulled over to watch as Discovery circled overhead, causing traffic jams in several spots, officials said.

“They had a lot of folks just stopping in various places,” said Cpl. Anthony Washington of the Maryland State Police barrack in Forestville. “It just seemed to be pretty chaotic today.”

No serious accidents were reported, but state police got calls for a number of fender benders and troopers responded to several jammed areas to help get traffic moving again, he said.

Sathibalan Ponniah, a Bethesda-based scientific director for the Cancer Vaccine Development Program, said the landing was “more than what I expected.

“I had goose bumps,” he said as he made his way back to his car after watching the plane descend to the Dulles tarmac.

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