On Tuesday April 17 the day dawned a beautiful warm and sunny day. By 9:30 word was out that the Space Shuttle Discovery would be a little early flying by on its way to be a permanent exhibit at the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. I had hauled all of the equipment we bought to go to Africa over to school hoping to set it up in the parking lot and get a good shot.
The principal said we could go on the roof of the building. So I managed to climb up; first a two story ladder (stright up, hand over hand!) Thank goodness the building manager was there to give me a hand when I got to the top. Then another one story ladder. I think excitement and adreneline got me up and back down the ladders because for the rest of the day my legs felt like they were made of Jello!
I started to set up the tripod when someone said “there it is”! and sure enough just above the treeline beyond the church across the road you could see Discovery piggybacked on the back of the 747 moving slowly right above the trees. We watched it fly towards the Potomac River and then off toward Washington DC. I didn’t get a good picture because I was not set up. Now I know why photographers go hours ahead to get their equipment all ready! Lesson learned!
Unfortunately, the kids were all looking toward the school and the closest and best view was when you looked between the brances of the trees behind the church across the street. We did get to see it again, but much further away after it had been to tour the National mall in DC and was returning back to Dulles again. However, at Rachel Carson Middle School they held their monthly fire drill and got to see this view (above) since they are located much closer to the airport.
Here are some pictures from our school. Plus the two above, I couldn’t figure out how to remove them!