Fairfax County Welcomes Space Shuttle Discovery

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Fairfax County Welcomes Space Shuttle Discovery

Discovery, the longest-serving orbiter in the space shuttle fleet, has arrived in Fairfax County! The spacecraft arrived on the back of a 747 airplane from NASA's Kennedy Center in Florida on April 17 to enthusiastic crowds all over the Capital Region, who waited anxiously to get a glimpse of the famed orbiter. The shuttle was welcomed to its brand new home on April 19 to Fairfax County's Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Discovery has been the icon for American spaceflight for a generation and has flown every type of mission in its nearly 30-year long career. The aircraft was retired by NASA last year after having spent a total of 365 days in space, completing 39 missions and carrying a record number of 252 crewmembers on board during its lifetime.

Discovery is now on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar of the Udvar-Hazy Center, where it is surrounded by a myriad of other national treasures.

"Discovery join[s] the ranks of treasures such as the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Mercury Friendship 7 capsule and the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia," said Valerie Neal, space shuttle program curator in the museum's Division of Space History.  "Discovery represents innovation, ingenuity and the effort to make spaceflight a regular activity in the life of the nation."

Discovery has achieved a significant number of history-making moments, including having the first female pilot (Eileen Collins), the first African American commander (Frederick Gregory), and having the oldest crewmember onboard to space (John Glenn at 77). Discovery also was twice chosen as the Return-to-Flight shuttle following the Challenger and Columbia tragedies.


Hotel and Special Event Packages  

Some Fairfax County hotels and attractions have created some special packages for your trip to the area to see Discovery up close and personal. See below for details and links.  


Hyatt Place Dulles Airport South
Chantilly, VA - Air and Space Museum Package

Book now and receive two IMAX theater tickets at Steven Udvar Hazy Airbus Imax Theater & complimentary transportation to museum, which is only 5 miles away.
04/01/12 - 12/31/12
See Special

Crowne Plaza Dulles
Herndon, VA - Air and Space Package

This Air and Space museum hotel package offered by the Crowne Plaza includes hotel shuttle to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, two tickets to the IMAX theater and breakfast buffet for two. Our Cro...
03/23/12 - 12/31/12
See Special

Hampton Inn Dulles South
Chantilly, VA - Family Getaway Space Adventure Package

The Hampton Inn & Suites Dulles' Family Getaway Package includes two tickets to the IMAX theater at the Udvar-Hazy Center at the National Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia. The Udvar-Hazy C...
10/06/11 - 12/31/12
See Special

Hyatt Dulles
Herndon, VA - Welcome Discovery!

Welcome Space Shuttle Discovery to Fairfax County! Book now to receive: Airport View Room, Full Breakfast for up to 4 guests in each room, Transportation to and from the Smithsonian National Air and S...
04/01/12 - 12/31/12
See Special

Hilton Springfield
Springfield VA - Space Shuttle Package

Stay at the Hilton Springfield and enjoy breakfast for two in Houlihan's Restaurant, free parking and Internet.
04/01/12 - 12/31/12
See Special




For more great videos about the shuttle Discovery, click here.