Discovery Fly Out
17 April 2012
The SCA powers down the runway for takeoff.
The speeding combo kicked up a small dust cloud behind them.
Discovery is airborne for the last time.
Moments after the SCA lifted off, the NASA C-9 Pathfinder aircraft took off from the opposite direction. This is the weather support plane. It will fly 100 miles ahead of the SCA on its exact route to report on bad weather or other hazardous conditions that the SCA might encounter.
A very long distance view shows Discovery and the SCA with the T-38 close behind along with the NASA TV helicopter. The SCA flew Discovery at low altitude down the beach to Patrick Air Force Base then back again before doing an extended fly around of the Kennedy Space Center to provide photos of Discovery over famous landmarks like the launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the Visitor Complex.
The SCA and Discovery begin the final run over the SLF before heading out to Washington, DC.
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