I had the pleasure of going to the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (link for more info: in Chantilly, Virginia, this past week. One of my friends had been to see the space shuttle, and I thought it was a really neat idea for a day trip. It ended up being really incredible!! The hangar was huge! There were planes on the floor and hanging at various levels from the ceiling. Wow. Several times I found myself speechless.

Above everything else, the space shuttle Discovery was my favorite exhibit. Standing in front of the nose, I found myself dwarfed by its massive size. My mind was blown contemplating all the re-entries into the atmosphere the shuttle made, and how all those tiles survived the extreme heat.

I’ve always been a space geek. Yes, I was one of those who wished I could have gone to space camp and had an experience similar to what occurred in the movie of the same name (see this link if you need a reminder I’ve always been fascinated by astronomy. The first James Michener book I read was Space, and that was likely in tenth grade.

Even if you have just a moderate interest in aviation, I highly recommend a visit to this museum. Definitely worth the time and the $15 parking fee.


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