April 17 -Space shuttle Discovery swooped over Washington to the delight of the crowds who gathered on rooftops and in fields to watch its final flight. Deborah Gembara reports.
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In Washington and the surrounding areas, they waited on rooftops and in fields, determined to catch a glimpse of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it made its final pass through the sky en route to its new home as a museum exhibit.
Piggybacking on the back of a 747, Discovery soared over some of Washington's most iconic sights ---- and thrilling those on the ground.
SOUNDBITE:spectator Vienne Clarenpeltier saying:
"I was like, that's humungous, really cool. I can't believe that they would actually launch that through space."
SOUNDBITE: Spectator Erin Oberstee saying:
"It was beautiful"
SOUNDBITE: Spectator Alexa Oberstee saying:
"It was beautiful, and really neat. For me it was exciting to watch all the kids that are around here that are just little kids and they are just so excited to see it.
The shuttle's tail was capped with an aerodynamically shaped cone and its windows were covered for its final flight.
SOUNDBITE: Spectator Eric Plummer saying:
"Well the shuttle's been with us for 30 years and it's been a remarkable achievement of technology and shows America's leadership and technology in airspace, so it was really kind of a farewell, to say goodbye, but you know pleasant at the same time to see it, so it was really neat to see."
SOUNDBITE: Retired NASA employe Richard Walker saying:
"I retired from the space shuttle program in 2010 and to see this fly over is a punctuation to the good work we did during the space shuttle era."
The U.S. retired its space shuttles last year to begin work on new spaceships that can travel beyond the International Space Station.
Discovery looped around the Washington several times before touching down at Dulles airport just after 11am.
Those who missed its lumbering presence in the sky will have a chance to see the shuttle at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum's annex in Virginia.
Deborah Gembara, Reuters.
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