WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Smithsonian Welcomes Space Shuttle Discovery

Play associated audio
Space shuttle Discovery nose to nose with shuttle Enterprise at the Udvar-Hazy center of the National Air and Space Museum.
Armando Trull
Space shuttle Discovery nose to nose with shuttle Enterprise at the Udvar-Hazy center of the National Air and Space Museum.

NASA's most traveled spacecraft, space shuttle Discovery, has officially joined the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum today.

After making its way from Florida to Dulles International Airport on Tuesday, the Discovery, bruised by more than one million miles in space, was twoed and placed nose to nose with its sister shuttle the Enterprise while the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps played.

Almost two dozen astronauts, some bent by age but still proud, marched alongside the equally-weathered space ship they used to sever their earthly bonds and touch the heavens.

Hundreds of spectators were on hand, waiting to get their first glimpse of the shuttle. Even Paul Ceruzzi, curator and chair of the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian was blown away by the spectacle: "It's incredible, I couldn't believe it. I thought I had seen everything, but when I came out here this morning, I was completely blown away."

The Enterprise, which never made it out to space but has instead sat in the museum for decades, was towed out on the tarmac before its trip to New York, as the Discovery was brought into the space hangar, where it will make its permenant home.

"We're not going to clean it," explains Ceruzzi. "It really shows the wear and tear of millions and millions of miles in space. And we're going to leave that, because I love the way it looks like it's done some work."

Thursday was the first of four days of exhibit for space shuttle Discovery.


From 'Unproud' To 'Hombre,' Election 2016 Is Testing Our Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster noticed the number of unique words coming out of this campaign, and has been using Twitter to report the most searchable words. Lexicographer Peter Sokolowski talks to Rachel Martin.

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain

Bakers Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam are reviving election cake: a boozy, dense fruitcake that was a way for women to participate in the democratic process before they had the right to vote.

Republican And Trump Critic Ana Navarro Speaks On Election

Ana Navarro has become a standard bearer for Republican women repudiating Donald Trump. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with the GOP strategist about her view of the election, which is only 16 days away.

The Next Generation Of Local, Low-Power FM Stations Expands In Urban Areas

The next wave of low power FM stations is coming on the air. Initially restricted to rural areas because of interference concerns, nearly 2,000 new stations have been approved — many in urban areas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.