Discovery Wows Washington

Like millions of people in this area, I was thrilled to watch the Discovery fly around Washington on its piggyback ride to the Air and Space Museum. The shuttle first flew directly over my car on George Washington Parkway at an extremely low altitude. It was amazing to see it from directly below at what seems like less than a 1000 feet. I then saw it from different spots while driving in D.C. It was awesome.

I love the idea of the organizers to fly the plane around the city and surrounding states. My kids were all allowed to leave class to go outside and see the fly-over. They did a great job in flying in circles while changing the path slightly to give everyone a close view.

I must confess that I was wondering as a torts professor whether there was a spike in auto accidents during this period as drivers (including me) kept looking to the sky to catch another glimpse of the remarkable flight.

13 thoughts on “Discovery Wows Washington”

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  2. It was a really well done flyover. Despite the cost its important to remember that NASA’s budget during the cold war was nearly 10x the percentage that it currently is. And Science and technology degrees spiked a decade following the first lunar landing. I’ve talked to many engineer’s and scientists from that generation and nearly all of them talk about how as kids they wanted to be astronauts at one time. If $11 mill for a flyover is all it takes to get kids interested in tech again so that the percentage of American’s pursuing bachelors in science as opposed to the overcrowded arts increases again to keep us competitive, then I say its money well spent.
    Excuse my grammar as I’m typing this fast, but it’s hardly a percentage of what Newt’s Moonbase would cost.

  3. To Anon Yours (8:29am)

    If you want govt to fund research to develop tang etal then say so. Why go to the Moon/Space/Mars/Etc to develop…. TVs? Sure. Right. Makes sense to me.

    It may be really awesome to have the shuttle do a low-level flyover. I am sure it is pretty neat to have 50,000 north korean children dancing in unison as well. Neither is really anything more than propaganda (though the children do learn discipline, team work, etc.)

  4. Nuts, you guys get all the neat stuff. I guess it compensates for having to rub shoulders with all those slimy politicians.

    Certainly agree with Woosty @8:19am

  5. “I guess it was impressive but not as much as watching it fall out of orbit at supersonic speed knowing they had only one chance to get it right.”

    Threading a needle from that far away is tough. For those who know what the potential energy is that had to be handled, it’s even more impressive.
    And guess what wiggle-room is availble returning from the moon.

  6. Woosty,

    Check the GAO…… We ARE paying the Russians to take our stuff up…..


    If you don’t like the program you have alternatives…. The first being you need to cease using your computer, TV, cell phone and don’t drink tang…..

  7. I used to work at the NASA bus depot and saw the grayhound come in piggyback several times. They would make a long, slow pass up the coast just off shore so people could get a good look at it. I guess it was impressive but not as much as watching it fall out of orbit at supersonic speed knowing they had only one chance to get it right.

  8. At first I thought you were talking about “ethics” but that’s a long stretch…. Yes, the space programs are a wonderful thing for consumers…… I hear one of these or even this craft is to end up in California some place as a permanent resting place….

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