Possibly one of the coolest, and most historic events of the year will occur next week: the arrival of Space shuttle Discovery and “Welcome Discovery” celebration at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia! Visit Loudoun will commemorate the event with special packages and events. Check them out at VisitLoudoun.org/Welcome-Discovery.

On Tuesday, April 17, at about 10 a.m., Discovery is expected to fly low over Dulles International Airport at about 10 a.m. This event is weather-dependent.

On Thursday, April 19, the ceremony to receive the shuttle will be held. Space Shuttle Discovery will be officially received by the Smithsonian and placed on permanent display, replacing the shuttle Enterprise in the Center. The schedule for the day is as follows:

11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.—Ceremony featuring document signing • National Anthem sung by mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves • Music by the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and Marine Corps Color Guard • Participants will include 14 of Discovery’s 31 living commanders Speakers: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough National Air and Space Museum Director J.R. “Jack” Dailey Former Sen. John Glenn Chair of Smithsonian Board of Regents France Córdova

5:30 p.m.—Space shuttle Discovery moves into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

The ceremony is open to the public, free of charge. There will be standing space for thousands of people. There is a $15 parking fee.