Space shuttle Discovery is headed to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
I remember scoffing when I first heard that people returned from space at an airport. That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows the first thing the astronauts do upon their return is take a dip in the ocean. I was sure that whoever told me about the runway landing was mistaken.
A runway it is.
Many years later, I still marvel at the beefed up airplanes strapped onto a mountain of fuel that send people to space and back.
And now the closed book is being slid into its place on the bookshelf.
Two years after the space shuttle Challenger tragedy in 1986, Discovery’s successful 1988 mission restored our confidence. Again after the 2003 loss of the Columbia, Discovery returned to space in 2005.
Putting a lid on 27 years of service and 39 missions in space, space shuttle Discovery is spending its retirement in Virginia.