We recently spent Spring Break visiting Washington, D.C. One of our ‘must-see’ locations whenever we go is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is an extension to the Smithosonian’s National Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport. It contains anything and everything that they just can’t squeeze into the facility on The National Mall.
The particular highlight for me on this trip was that the space shuttle Enterprise, previously sited at the museum, has been replaced with the shuttle Discovery. This was special to me, because the space shuttle, more than any other vehicle, was the spacecraft that symbolized space flight as I grew up. The heyday of the Apollo program was over before I could walk, but the Space Transportation System… this would bring us bus-service to the stars. As we know, STS never quite turned out to be the low-cost, airline to orbit it was purported to be, but that won’t change it’s place in my mind. So to stand (literally) in the shadow of a vehicle that traveled 149 million miles and spent a year in space… this had emotional impact. The Enterprise was interesting to look at but with wear evident on the hull, tiles that had clearly been replaced, scorch marks and stains on the nozzles… now this was a , real spaceship.
Here are some highlights of the pictures I took.