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    Posted April 17, 2012 by
    Cocoa Beach, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Space to Smithsonian: The shuttle's final journey

    RichardHay and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Shuttle Discovery's final flight
    More from RichardHay

    Discovery Bids Farewell to Florida's Space Coast


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     RichardHay, of Jacksonville, Florida, shot this picture earlier today from Cocoa Beach. 'I am a huge supporter of our space program and have participated in three different NASA Tweetup events,' he says. 'I also have a special connection to Discovery because when I retired from the U.S. Navy last August, my wife had a 3'x5' U.S. Flag and STS-131 Mission Patch flown on that April 2010 mission, special to recognize my 29 years of Naval service. I wanted to be able to see her farewell flyby because of that connection.' In regards to the space program, he says, 'Ultimately the shuttle program needed to end. I am just disappointed that it ended before we were ready to continue launching Americans into space from U.S. soil.'
    - ssesha, CNN iReport producer

    I had the opportunity to watch Discovery make her farewell flyby of the Space Coast this morning from Cocoa Beach, Florida. This shot was taken as she passed in front of us mated to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with their NASA T-38 escort aircraft.


    I made the trip down to see this flyby from Jacksonville, Florida last night because Discovery holds a special place in my thoughts because I have a 3” x 5” US Flag and an STS-131 Mission Patch in my US Navy Retirement Sea Chest. These items flew on Discovery during STS-131 in April of 2010 and it was thanks to my wife’s ingenuity that it happened. They are very special treasures to have of the Shuttle Program.


    The flyby of Discovery over the Space Coast of Florida was a great tribute to her service for our country.

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