Space Shuttle Discovery will land April 17 at Dulles

WASHINGTON – A modified 747 airplane will carry the Space Shuttle Discovery on its back from Florida to Washington on April 17.

The shuttle and airplane will land at Dulles International Airport early that morning. It will take two days to prepare and tow the shuttle to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, where the shuttle will be displayed.

While NASA isn’t releasing the shuttle’s exact flight path for security reasons, two spots in the area are opening early for those who want to catch a glimpse of it in the air.

Spot the Shuttle gatherings and activities are being planned at various locations in the area. Follow #spottheshuttle on Twitter to join a gathering or invite other people to yours.

The Udvar-Hazy Center’s parking lot will open at 8 a.m. Parking costs $15, with no guarantees that the shuttle will be visible from there. Admission to the center is free and the building opens at 10 a.m.

Across the street, the Sully Historic Site will open at the same time. Since the site is in the airport’s flight path, there could be a better chance of seeing the shuttle and airplane from here. They recommend bringing binoculars.

Sully is charging a $10 parking fee, but a tour of the site’s house is also included in the price.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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