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Photo Gallery: Thousands Greet Discovery

Roadsides, parks and bridges were packed as people gathered to watch Discovery come home to Northern Virginia.

The orbital space shuttle Discovery arrived in Virginia piggyback atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, with a T-38 escort. 

After an initial flyover of Dulles International Airport, the team headed into Washington, D.C., flying low along the Potomac River and past many of the monuments, memorials and government buildings. 

About an hour later, Discovery flew over Dulles once again, before its final approach and landing.  Its new home is the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The Enterprise space shuttle currently on display at Udzar-Hazy was an atmospheric test vehicle and is being replaced by Discovery.  Enterprise will be flown to JFK International Airport later this spring, then moved by barge to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

"Discovery is the most traveled spaceship, leading the fleet with 39 missions," according to the Library of Congress.

NASA's five shuttles were:

Susan Larson April 17, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Thanks for adding your photos, Mark and Nick. Very exciting.
Terrence Dankel April 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM
The escort was a T-38, which is not a Fighter. The "T" designator is for Trainer. Though the sleek lines may suggest otherwise, NASA uses these aircraft for many purposes, mostly to keep "pilots" in the orientation of command and control while airborne.
Susan Larson April 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Thank you, Terrence, for the clarification. I've made the change in the article.
Susan Larson April 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Thank you, Nick! More great photos shared in the Burke Patch Discovery Gallery. Your shots are awesome.

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