This morning, the space shuttle Discovery, riding atop a 747 shuttle-carrier, flew from Kennedy Space Center in Florida up to Washington, D.C. to its final resting place at the Smithsonian. Along the way it took a tour of the capital, where it was photographed by everyone with a camera, because how often do you see a space shuttle flying around? There aren't any pictures of the shuttle stopping to see the cherry blossoms, but there are plenty of it zooming past Washington landmarks. Check some out in our gallery below.
Today at Kennedy Space Center, two of the glorious veterans of the Space Shuttle program are going to fire up their onboard liquid-fuel rocket engines one final time and accelerate to hypersonic speeds before crashing nose-to-nose in a majestic finale.
The European Space Agency announced plans today to launch a privately built snub-nosed space bullet, which sort of resembles a wingless, truncated space shuttle, within the next two years. Thales Alenia Space, builder of several International Space Station components and many European satellites, is manufacturing the spacecraft.
[Updated] After the final flight this summer, America's space shuttles will retire to four locations across the continent, from California to Florida. Houston, home of Mission Control, was snubbed — it will receive shuttle seats, with actual training simulators leaving the JSC grounds for other museums in the midwest.
A NASA contractor wants to go all Brett Favre on America's space shuttles, pulling them out of retirement past their prime to keep them going, even if it's to play for the other side.
United Space Alliance, which manages the shuttle program for NASA, wants to spend $1.5 billion annually to fly two missions a year from 2013 to 2017, using Endeavour and Atlantis.
A roar and tongue of burning flame today marked the last test firing of a space shuttle solid rocket motor. Such test firings have taken place 52 times over more than three decades as trial runs for the 123-second burn of an actual space shuttle launch, but this is the end of the engineering ritual, as the space shuttle closes in on its scheduled 2010 retirement.