In recent days, John Glenn and other astronauts that have flown on Discovery have visited the retired orbiter to say their goodbyes.
While NASA prepares to deliver the space shuttle Discovery to its final museum home, some high-profile guests have visited the vehicle over the past few months to bid their goodbyes: the men and women who helped build the iconic space plane, and the privileged few who flew on it.
The shuttle Discovery is scheduled to fly from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Washington, D.C. atop a modified Boeing 747 aircraft on April 17, weather permitting. It will be delivered to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., to be placed on public display for posterity.
But before the orbiter departs from its soon-to-be-former Florida home port, many special visitors have come to say farewell, said Stephanie Stilson, NASA's flow director for the transition and retirement of the space shuttles at the Kennedy Space Center.
"There are a number of people who have come back for one last opportunity to sit in the seat and experience it," Stilson told SPACE.com. "Our center director, Bob Cabana, flew on Discovery multiple times, and he has gone into Discovery many times before, but he had his moment to say goodbye. Mike Coats, who is the center director at the Johnson Space Center, came by, and others too."