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Tomorrow marks a big day for space shuttle Discovery: The shuttle will take the last flight of its career. Discovery is headed from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, just outside Washington, D.C., where it will transition from explorer to educator.
To celebrate the shuttle's final flight, we're partnering with NASA and the Smithsonian to track Discovery's journey from Florida to Washington. That's where you come in: If you're in the southeastern U.S., we want you to join other space enthusiasts to try to spot the shuttle during its trip tomorrow and share your photos on CNN iReport!
If you'd like to participate, here's what you need to know:
The shuttle will leave from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at dawn (around 7 a.m.), weather permitting. It will fly over the KSC visitor center, Patrick Air Force Base, and the Space Coast beaches before making its way up the coast (for security reasons, NASA cannot release the exact flight path). Between 10 and 11 a.m., NASA plans to have the shuttle fly over Washington, D.C., including several major landmarks, before it lands at Dulles airport for transfer to the museum. If you're in the D.C. area, the Smithsonian has some tips for you on the best places to view the shuttle.
Discovery will ride on top of a specially modified 747 for the journey to the Smithsonian. The pair will fly quite low, around 10,000 feet, for the entire journey. So as long as the weather is reasonably nice, they should be visible for the entire flight.
Be sure to upload your images to our Space to Smithsonian assignment. We'll plot the best of them on a map for CNN.com, and NASA and the Smithsonian will share them with literally millions of followers on social media! If you share your images on Twitter or Instagram, be sure to tag them #spottheshuttle.
So, set your alarm and prep your camera, because tomorrow is your last chance to #spottheshuttle!
i wish i could do this, since i am interested in space travel, but i am in wisconsin. >.<
Actually, there will be two more flights with the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). On Monday, April 23, space shuttle Enterprise
for which Discovery is replacing at the Smithsonianwill fly on top of the SCA from Washington to JFK International Airport in New York where it will sit while preparations are made to barge Enterprise to the Intrepid museum. Then in November, the SCA will transport space shuttle Endeavour from KSC to Los Angeles.
I'm in San Diego, but I'll be using my high powered zoom lens on my Cannon 5D to get some still shots. Will upload when they're ready.
Ummm, you think they could have washed it first? If the condition of that shuttle is a metaphor for our country, we're in sad shape.
An airplane with four large jet engines cruising at only 10,000 feet??? That is going to be an insane fuel burn!
Loved to spot it in orbit. Will pass on the funeral procession.
this is cool, i am glad the we in cali are getting one
Sorry to all you who find this interesting but this is the biggest waste of tax dollars that I have ever seen. Put us more into debt. Way to go America.
We plan on eating lunch on our roof at work tomorrow. I work right along the Potomac in DC.
Umptysquat - lunch on the roof? Are you a part of the GSA?
July 4th, 1976 I was in New York for the Bicentennial/Tall Ships. It was a remarkable day made even more memorable by a fly over of Columbia on the back of a 747. I was caught off guard, I was on the Hill above St. George, Staten Island and had a great view as it made a slow and low banking turn over the harbor. This was 5 years before it's first venture into space.
I also saw the International Space Station with a docked Shuttle pass overhead one night here in western Maine. It was moving west to east very quickly. I knew it was coming this time but I was still amazed!
Too bad all of the Shuttles ended up on the Coasts. Would have been nice to get one in Dayton, the birthplace of aviation and within a short drive of 10s of millions of people!
I remember being at Edwards Air Force Base on a special 4th of July...Reagan was there, I think Challenger returned from orbit and Columbia was on the back of the 747 talking off for Florida.
Of course the landing was wonderful. Reagan's speech was dull. All the Secret Service guys in SUITS IN THE DESERT was hilarious...and the take of of the loaded 747 was the best part...
Another Obama accomplishment... Museum piece of our past national greatness.. From now on all is just 3rd world class - like the mud huts in Kenya..
Now we invest in Volt cars (made by car company owened by Union thugs & Government) - a car with 35-mile range - costing "only" $43,000.- and needing electricity made by coal-fired power plants anyway.. Our "intelligent" leader who did not spent a single hour in industry is giving us another teachable moment.. Disgrace..
To all the people moaning that this is symbolic of a national disgrace under Obama...if i recall correctly arent you the same folks who keep moaning about taxes and debt and deficits? Maybe you should tell your GOP congressman to vote for reductions in defense or inrease tax rates back to 1998 levels again in order to fund more os the space program rather than blaming Obama? Look in the mirror folks....you caused this.
Ricardo, just scale back the leftists entitlement society – and we will be shooting guys to Mars – and beyond..
The commie in WH is turning us into 2nd class gimme-gimme-and gimme some more nation.. while stoking class warfare..
Taxes? yes when they leave us nothing to invest in private business, employ people, and buy equipment.
Debt? Yes when it chokes out the entire economy and makes the dollar worthless.
Deficits? Only when it devalues what America has been built on and stood for.
Other than that, go ahead and make your point. We thought we'd seen it all but we are open minded.
It is kind of a shame that we are retiring the shuttle without a replacement or successor plan. We went from a new shuttle to no shuttle.
Sounds like leadership to me........
I'd like to see this but I'm just a little north
RDH612 was right on that I had to create a login name of RDH613 and my initials are RDH. It would be great to be able to designate/allocate where your taxes go. Mine would go towards the space program. I like what Harry Belafonte has to say about Obama and probably won't be voting for him again. I like Ralph Nader.
RDH612: Suddenly everything went down with Obama? Please! Let me smoke what your smokin' and live in some kind of delusionary world just like you...wait! no thanks. I like the ability to reason and have a reasonable level of rationality.
@Pepik. How in the world can you be full of so much misinformation? Bush was the one who canceled the shuttle program, not Obama. Besides, it needed to be cancelled because it was inherently flawed with its side-by-side component construction, and thus had an estimated 1 in 15 failure rate. As to your comment that the Volt has a 35 mile range, that is false. Do you even know what the Volt is? Do you realize that coal is not the only way electricity can be generated? Besides, what in the world makes you think the Volt was Obama's idea? Wow.
By the way, for those of you who want to see the International Space Station fly overhead, may I recommend the website heavens-above DOT com. Satellites are quite easy to see, the trick is for the sky to be dark, while the satellite is still illuminated by the sun. I used to watch the shuttle and the space station fly overhead a lot. What was really cool was when it was right before they docked or right after they undocked and you would see these two dots one right after the other traveling through the night sky. They say that the space station is now so big you can see it in the daylight, but I have not tried this yet.
@ pepik You are the epitome of the the typical run of the mill right wingers in the republikkkan party that want to blame Obama for every thing. Your boy Bush started the downward spiral of the space shuttle program. By the way the word epitome is in the dictionary. You may want to look up on your next trip to the fridge to get another beer while you watch your Doomsday Prepper's show
Very cool. Our leftovers are still better than anything any other country has achieved or will achieve for the next 20 years. I remember seeing the shuttle launch at night and it remains the coolest thing I have ever seen. Billions of kids are inspired by what NASA has done. I think we learned a lot about ourselves and the universe as a result of the apollo and shuttle programs.
For the cost critics, read the GSA report on the space program. Well documented, all of the money spent on the space program since the 60's has generated a 35% return on investment for the American people through job creation, taxes, and industry. We need to be spending more on NASA and other science agencies not less.
tkogrady. Uh yeah, it's not dirty. That is char marks from re-entry. You know, that whole space to earths atmosphere, 17,000 MPH to around 800 in a few minutes thing. I see by your comment, you're a big shuttle fan. What, did you come here just to bash, or are you trolling.
Just to clarify the 1 in 15 failure rate for the shuttle I gave in my earlier post; for the earliest missions, the failure rate was estimated to be 1 in 9. At the end of the program, the estimated failure rate had improved to 1 in 90. Still, not a very good risk profile.
@tkogrady, the museums want the shuttles to look authentic as they did when they finished their last missions. It's the same as placing the winning race car in the Daytona USA museum right after it wins the race.
@WillardR, if you live on the coast between Washington DC and New York City, you will be able to see the same 747 carrying Enterprise to JFK International Airport on Monday.
THE WOMEN WAS NOMINATED IN THE 2003-2004 TO BE ASTRONAUT.
HONORABLE DISCHARGE US ARMY, USAF X ROTC
TOOK CARE OF MOTHER FOR 3 YEARS OTHER HONORABLE STUFF
NEW WORTHY STORY AMERICA PROTECT HER FROM THE 'UNKNOWN GROUP OF DOD NO ONE KNOWS THEM EXCPT PRES OBAMA AND NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY
Less than a minute ago
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10,000 feet? Its like saying its the end of the world.Why the final trip when we have not yet discovered the universe and its mysteries?