Back from Beyond

As you may know, today the Shuttle Discovery took its last flight, from Florida to here in DC, where it will go on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

But first it did a victory lap around Washington, DC.  From my office perch across the Potomac, I had a window on the flight.  These pictures were taken by my colleague, Julie Pearce.

 

From my office window. Photo credit: Julie Pearce

And this one:

Photo credit: Julie Pearce

And yup, I’m a lucky girl; I get paid to sit here.

 

52 Comments

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52 responses to “Back from Beyond

  1. Pingback: Places | FiftyFourandAHalf

  2. Nice view. I want your office!

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  3. Wasn’t it awesome! I keep forgetting that you live a stone’s throw away, Elyse. The shuttle circled our building three times on its way to Dulles. I am on the penthouse floor of my guilding which is all glass, so we were all running around the building like idiots trying to get pictures. None were as good as yours, though, because we were all using our Blackberrys. It was a very awe-inspiring moment. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.

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  4. Thanks, Nancy. It really was a lot of fun.

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  5. Wish I could take credit for them!

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  6. Michelle Gillies

    Thanks for sharing a bit of history with us, oh, and for sharing the view.

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  7. I guess I had my head in a box because I didn’t realize this was the last flight. How sad an era is ending (you know how I hate change.) Thank you so much for posting this.

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    • I’m with you on hating to have things change — I’m still sad that the Apollo program ended. But so much important science and technology came out of the space program that it should be continuing. Expensive? Yup. Worth it? Yup.

      They never ask me, though.

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  8. Wow! Saw this on the news and now know someone who had an office-eye view. Fantastic.

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    • Thanks PW. I wish I could have had all my blogging buddies in for a party!

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      • I loved your comment about the Air and Space Museum. I have been there once and I must tell you that it was more than enough. My husband on the other hand was like a kid in the candy store. I finally sat on a bench and let him frolic. I had to rest my bunions.

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        • I learned years ago to drop folks off there and go visit the art museum or the history museum or virtually anything else! But for those who like it, it is a real treat. For me it is torture!

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  9. thank you for sharing these shots, they are awesome. I cannot wait to visit the Smithsonian again someday, I am waiting for my grandson to be old enough to steal away for a week in DC.

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    • It is a pretty cool place, but I will admit to having had my life’s dose of the Air & Space Museum. Everybody who comes to town wants to go there and while I think space exploration and aviation are really important, I have seen those exhibits ENOUGH. I may go out to see Discovery, though. After all, we got pretty intimate today!

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  10. Thanks for sharing that is so cool and a great excuse to justify staring our the window.

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  11. GOF

    You’re right….that is Seriously Cool…..and all I’ve got flying past my window are a couple of pigeons.

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  12. Wow, that is so cool! You are a very lucky woman to witness history like that.

    I’ve seen the Blue Angels twice, they used to put on a show up here at the navy base, my husband is an aviation freak so I’ll be sure to show him these pics.

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    • I used to worry that I would witness a far less pleasant piece of history. Our offices overlook the Pentagon, and there are still a few folks who were there on 9/11.

      But this was fun.
      The Blue Angels have gone over a number of times. But they go so fast that you just get to hear them. By the time you know they’re there, they’re over the top of the building!

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  13. That’s excellent. To see it live must have been exciting.

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    • It really was — although it was over really fast. There were a dozen colleagues in my office and then everybody disappeared — and then I realized it had turned to come around again! I had to holler “COME BACK!”

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  14. I didn’t know about the Space Shuttle’s last flight and I’m glad you were there to share in its send off. It’s cool to be a part of history… 🙂

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  15. Hi,
    Wow, how very lucky, what a great vantage point, and wonderful photos of it as well. I hadn’t heard about the shuttle going to the Museum, it would be very interesting to go and see, a very good place for everyone to have a look at this marvel of technology.

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  16. Totally Awesome. Thanx for the Great Pictures. I did not know this was going on. I can still recall my watching the first moon landing, the first shuttle launch, and now I see the end trip. I wonder if NASA has better days ahead or not.

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  17. Awesome. I’m so glad it circled a few times in order to give more people an opportunity to see it in flight. Thanks for sharing this. We sometimes forget how spectacular our space program really is.

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  18. Awww….this is so great to see. Incredible shot your colleague J. Pearce took. My high school friend in FL sent me a photo this morning from the Cape. I’m so glad you gave this notice!

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  19. Wonderful photographs. You are really lucky to experience something like this.

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  20. Very cool. I’ve only ever seen a blimp fly by. It was much faster than I expected though.

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    • We get the Blue Angels flying over our building all the time. But they are too fast to see. I HEAR them quite often, though.

      Blimps are fast????? I’m not sure you spend enough time looking out the window!

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  21. Great photos! Thanks to you and Julie for sharing them with us.

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  22. Living on the west coast I could only listen on NPR as they gave us the “sound” of the D.C. fly-over. Even then it was awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your snaps…almost like being there….sort of.

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    • It did fly right over the building on the first swing, so it was LOUD! Glad to share — and the photo credits go to my colleague, Julie Pearce. Me, I just looked out the window!

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      • When I lived in Richmond (London) one of the flight paths from Heathrow was right over our flat. Whenever the Concord flew in/out….traffic would literally stop…both on the road and pavement. What a sight she was, as well. Awww…history in the making……of our minds….

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  23. Thank you for posting this. I was a newspaper reporter at Florida Today in 1988 and watched Discovery launch after an 18-month delay because of the Challenger disaster, and watched two subsequent launches. It’s one of the most awesome sights I’ve ever seen.

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    • We were in Florida for a launch that was aborted at T-minus-3 seconds. My husband has never gotten over it (he missed the flyover, too, poor guy).

      You know, I’m really not all that into space, but I think it is important for us as humans to have the drive to go into space. After all, it is the final frontier…

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  24. So cool! I saw the takeoff live this morning, which provided awesome shots. Then had to watch the DC end as well. A fitting farewell to the fleet’s oldest survivor.

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    • Hey, Frank, we are bookends of the last flight! Cool!

      It was really neat. A bunch of us were sitting in my office, drinking coffee waiting for it to fly upriver, towards us. Then we heard it before we saw it — resulting in the first shot. It was really really neat.

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  25. Really cool! Making memories!

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  26. Running from Hell with El

    Oh!! I am so glad you posted this because my husband just called me from his office downtown and told me he saw the shuttle circling overhead and I was so bummed I couldn’t see it. What a great shot!!! Thank you so much–gotta share this one on Twitter and FB.

    Like

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