NASA transfers shuttle Discovery to museumApril 20th, 2012 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, April 20 (IANS) US space agency NASA transferred Thursday space shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where it will go on permanent display.
The transfer, which was witnessed by more than two dozen astronauts who flew on Discovery over the course of its 39 missions and more than 365 days in space, kicked-off a four-day festival celebrating the retired orbiter’s induction into the national aerospace collection at the museum, reported Xinhua.
“Discovery has distinguished itself as the champion of America’ s shuttle fleet. In its new home, it will shine as an American icon, educating and inspiring people of all ages for generations to come,” said John Dailey, director of the museum.
“The museum is committed to teaching and inspiring youngsters, so that they will climb the ladder of academic success and choose professions that will help America be competitive and successful in the world of tomorrow.”
The retired shuttle arrived in Washington from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, atop a specially outfitted Boeing 747 jumbo jet. It circled several Washington landmarks to the delight of onlookers before arriving at nearby Dulles Airport.
“Today, while we look back at Discovery’s amazing legacy, I also want to look forward to what she and the shuttle fleet helped to make possible,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
“As NASA transfers the shuttle orbiters to museums across the country, we are embarked on an exciting new space exploration journey.”
Discovery was first launched in 1984 and flew 39 missions, more than any other shuttle in the fleet. Among its highlights is the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990, the first shuttle docking with the International Space Station.
Discovery was retired last year, along with its sister shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour.
Endeavour will go on permanent display at a science museum in Los Angeles, while Atlantis will remain at the Kennedy Space Center for display.
The retirement of US shuttle fleet may mark the end of a 30-year chapter in American spaceflight, but not the end of the story.
NASA is “focusing on developing a heavy-lift vehicle, a multipurpose crew vehicle,” Bolden said. “We continue our leadership in space exploration and in our international partnership with other nations who are of like minds.”
- NASA's space shuttle Endeavour ends final mission - Jun 01, 2011
- NASA final shuttle launch scheduled for July 8 - May 21, 2011
- Space shuttle Atlantis makes final landing - Jul 21, 2011
- NASA sets farewell shuttle launch July 8 - Jun 29, 2011
- Shuttle Discovery back to Earth post 13-day final mission - Mar 10, 2011
- Atlantis' landing ends final mission after 30 years of space shuttle era - Jul 21, 2011
- Space shuttle Endeavour returns to Earth after final mission - Jun 01, 2011
- Shuttle Discovery heads to International Space Station on its final mission - Feb 25, 2011
- Space shuttle Discovery lands on Earth after final mission - Mar 10, 2011
- Atlantis docks with space station one last time - Jul 10, 2011
- End of space shuttle, end to US dominance of space? - Jul 06, 2011
- NASA delays shuttle Endeavour's launch - Apr 30, 2011
- Space shuttle Discovery lifts off for final voyage - Feb 25, 2011
- Discovery's last mission extended by a day - Mar 04, 2011
- No spaceship, yet NASA wants more astronauts - Nov 17, 2011
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