This is Maverick Requesting a Fly By

Today marked a rather monumental occasion as the space shuttle Discovery made its final flight – not to the stars but to its permanent home at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles, Va.

Library of Congress staff members were able to capture its final spin, as it took a few turns around the Capitol complex, including coming very close to the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building dome. You can see the video here, with Discovery perched atop a Boeing 747 jet.

Discovery is the most traveled spaceship, leading the fleet with 39 missions. It is also the first of the three retired shuttles to go on display at a museum. Sister ships Endeavour and Atlantis go on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, respectively, later this year.


  1. lentigogirl
    April 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    awesome video!

  2. Jean Greco
    April 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I was desperate to capture a glimpse on her swan song somehow and decided to trying viewing the fly -by at Great Falls Park overlooking the Potomac. Got out on the roads and as usual, traffic was a hindrance. Doubled back for home as I heard on NPR that Discovery had already taken two turns around the monuments. I felt sadly but had a work-related conference call to attend. Heading back for home, I heard a loud noise in the sky and there she was–heading back East to the District, riding piggyback on the 747. What a sight.! A peice of history just floating by. Thank you to whosever idea this was to have Ms. Discovery take a curtsy.

  3. kiyohisa Tanada
    April 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

    This “space shuttle ,”
    To a future youth, what kind of “idea power” does the shuttle provide to them?

  4. David H Hunt
    April 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I would love to have a copy of this flyby of the shutlte how may I obtain one please.

  5. Erin’s Dad
    April 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Beautiful video.

  6. Erin Allen
    April 20, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Thanks David. The Library’s video is only available for streaming.

  7. Ellenie Ash
    April 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    As I sit in Ohio I know that I have now seen more History fly by me.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with the whole world on your site.

    Good work LOC. Keep it up.

  8. aru
    August 8, 2012 at 3:57 am

    awesome video

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