The space shuttle Discovery arrived at the Smithsonian today after a short flight from Dulles Airport. NASA officially handed over the shuttle to the National Air and Space Museum in a symbolic end to an era of federal funded American space exploration.
As you can see from the infographic by FedTech, Discovery flew in 39 missions into outer space. It’s last mission in 2011.
“As NASA transfers the shuttle orbiters to museums across the country, we are embarked on an exciting new space exploration journey,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. “Relying on American ingenuity and know-how, NASA is partnering with private industry to provide crew and cargo transportation to the International Space Station, while developing the most powerful rocket ever built to take the nation farther than ever before into the solar system.”
NASA says the remaining fleet will retire to locations in New York Virginia, California, and Florida. The Space Shuttle Endeavor will go to the California Science Center. Atlantis will stay at KSC.
Shuttle Enterprise will go from the Smithsonian to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. It is scheduled to fly over New York City on April 23 between 9:30 and 11:30 before landing at JFK.
The final flight of the space shuttle Discovery.