Search form

Media

These news clips on global space news are provided by the Coalition for Space Exploration for distribution by the Space Foundation to our constituents. You can also subscribe to receive a daily email version.

NASA Hands Discovery to the Air and Space Museum

Enterprise, left, and Discovery come nose to nose at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Thursday. Ownership of Discovery was transferred from NASA to the Air and Space Museum. Enterprise will leave Udvar Hazy for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. Photo Credit/NASA

 

Orbiter Discovery now belongs to the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum and the American people.

The spacecraft’s official transfer from NASA to the famed museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport  in suburban Washington D. C. unfolded in ceremonies o Thursday morning.

The orbiter launched 39 times between 1984 and 2011. Discovery’s missions placed the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit, led the United States’ human space program back into space following the 2003 Columbia and 1986 Challenger tragedies and contributed to the assembly of the International Space Station, which is helping to unite the world’s major space powers.

At the Air and Space Museum, Discovery will join some of the nation’s most historic space and aircraft,  including the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, and Friendship 7, the Mercury capsule that carried John Glenn on the first orbital mission by an American. Others include the Wright Flyer, the invention of Orville and Wilbur Write that introduced the world to powered flight.

“Today, we welcome another treasure, one that represents the 30 year history of the shuttle program and a symbol of the triumphs of human space flight,” noted Jack Dailey, the museum’s director. “Achievements in space flight are the result of determination, engenuity, courage, creativity, skill and a unique quality we all share — the American spirit.”

Among the thousands on hand at Udvar-Hazy were 15 of Discovery’s 32 astronaut commanders and many of the ship’s former crew members.

“I welcome all of you here today to share in the accomplishments of Discovery and the fleet of which she was a part as we all look forward to the future.”  said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut who led one of the retired orbiter’s missions. “The shuttle program gave this country many firsts and many proud moments. We are now happy to share that legacy.”

Thursday’s ceremony included Enterprise, the NASA test orbiter, which will be transfered from Udvar-Hazy and Dulles to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum of New York City on Monday atop the space agency’s Boeing 747  Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

 

 

 

<
Live Sun Image
 
X

Share This Page

Share this page with friends and bookmark for future reference.

Facebook Share on Facebook Twitter Tweet This LinkedIn Share on LinkedIn

Additional networks and bookmarking websites:

X

Give Us Feedback

We want to hear from you! Feel free to send us your comments about this page. General feedback for the Space Foundation is also welcome.