WASHINGTON (April 17, 2012) - - The final hours of flight for the space shuttle Discovery and NASA's space shuttle program took place over historic Fort Lesley J. McNair today as thousands of Washingtonians looked up at the clear blue skies of the Nation's Capital.
Discovery made her final voyage atop NASA's converted 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft at approximately 10 a.m. and looped around the city a number of times before its landing at Dulles Airport around 11 a.m.
After 30 years of spaceflight, more than 130 missions, and numerous science and technology firsts, NASA's space shuttle fleet has retired and will be on display at institutions across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers. The Udvar-Hazy Center will become the new home for shuttle Discovery, which retired after completing its 39th mission in March.
Established in 1791, Fort McNair is the third oldest Army installation in continuous use in the united States after West Point and Carlisle Barracks. The installation has been an arsenal, a penitentiary, a hospital, a troop training post, and now a center for higher education and the home of the Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.