Shuttle tire.

Space Shuttle Tire

Field review by the editors.

New Milford, Connecticut

The Space Shuttle was an impressive and complex machine, but it wouldn't have returned to Earth safely without the humble tire. The Shuttle Discovery landed more times than any other spacecraft -- 39! -- and although the Shuttle itself ended up in the Smithsonian, a Connecticut high school observatory snagged one of its tires for public display.

Mounted outside the school's observatory, the tire is flanked by signs that reveal its space geek stats. Shuttle tires were typically used only once, and this one -- one of over 200 flown during the Discovery's long years of service -- hit the pavement in the early morning hours of February 21, 1997, after traveling over 4.1 million miles in space.

Touchdown photo sign.

Unlike the look-but-don't-touch Shuttle, the tire provides a rare opportunity for space history intimacy, and can be hugged, reverently caressed, or even captured in a high butt orbit for photos.

Space Shuttle Tire

John J. McCarthy Observatory

Address:
388 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT
Directions:
John J. McCarthy Observatory. South of town. From US-202/Danbury Rd turn west into the south entrance of New Milford High School. Drive straight to the back, then turn left. You'll see the tire in front of the small Observatory on the right.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Large SantaLarge Santa, Brookfield, CT - 6 mi.
John Oliver Memorial Sewer PlantJohn Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant, Danbury, CT - 8 mi.
World's Tallest Uncle SamWorld's Tallest Uncle Sam, Danbury, CT - 9 mi.
In the region:
Gillette Castle - Sherlock Holmes Apartment, East Haddam, CT - 52 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Connecticut

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Connecticut.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Connecticut Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Military Memorial Museum, Crossville, Tennessee (Dec 5-11, 2022)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings