Shuttle Discovery, just chillaxin' at Udvar-Hazy (photo)

Bryan Jones shot this lovely portrait of Space Shuttle Discovery at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. This companion site to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum opened in 2003, and is located near Washington Dulles International Airport. The shuttle arrived there about a year ago.


  1. They used to have the Enterprise at the museum before the Discovery. My friend is a private pilot and, before the museum was built, landed at nearby Dulles International Airport. The controller were giving him taxiing directions, telling him to turn right on this runway, left on that one, etc… and he was more concentrating on the directions to make sure he didn’t mess up in his tiny Cessna in this busy airport. But then he looks up and realizes he’s right next to the Enterprise. Last thing he expected to see – they were storing it there before the museum was ready for it!

  2. Shuttle: “Well boys, I did it. I had to stay up all night but I finally came up with a great exhibit.”

    Jerry: “I’d stayed up all night I’d fixed myself up a little before I’d go out.”

  3.   Last year I was able to see both the Enterprise being flown into NYC (from Sandy Hook, NJ) on April 27, then we visited Udvar-Hazy on May 5 and saw Discovery close-up (14mm f2.8).  I haven’t seen Enterprise yet – it’s nearby but I know it’s just a model… and they’re charging extra just see it.

      The wear on the used shuttle was the best part.  It looked like it was built of charcoal bricks and asbestos waffle board, not the sleek spaceship one expects.  Every brick is numbered. And every patch on each brick… OCD paradise.

      The other exhibits there are very worthwhile BUT it’s a surprisingly dark place – which makes the well-lit exhibits more dramatic.  They had to drag me away and we still didn’t get to the overhead walkway… no dogfight shots unless I can go back.

    The Enterprise images start at
    The Discovery begins at – we just missed a talk by some of the astronauts

  4. I saw Enterprise at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy 7 years ago when the Shuttle wing was first opened – as grand as seeing that was, the photos of Discovery in that hangar are breathtaking. Enterprise was, IS, special, but to see Discovery close up with all her scars, patches and irregularities is just . . . WOW.

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