CEIE 499 Remote Sensing students visited the Steven Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, the companion facility to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Opened in 2003, its two huge hangars — the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar — display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the space shuttle Discovery.
Accompanied by Dr. Maggioni, CEIE students were given a tour by docent Karen Elliott, and ex-pilot and aerospace engineer Peter Hwoschinsky. They learned about early aerial photography, reconnaissance aircrafts, weather balloons used for atmospheric studies, applications satellites, as well as human spaceflight.
The picture, taken by Dr. Maggioni, shows the Space Shuttle Discovery, the longest serving orbiter among the three of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Discovery flew 39 times from 1984 through 2011 — more missions than any of its sister ships — spending altogether 365 days in space.