When you have two shrewd players generating publicity, you get stories like this.  The Smithsonian and NASA are adept at sparking articles and with the retirement of the space shuttle, they are milking media interest.  One could ask if the space shuttle rode on top of a 747 in the past, and of course, it did.  No one thought to make a media story out of it then.  But, this is the last time, so there is an opportunity to spotlight a routine action.  That is both smart publicity and good PR for the Smithsonian and the space agency.  Of course, interest will build as the shuttle makes its way to permanent exhibition with a media frenzy on the day of unveiling.  NASA will have achieved recognition for the much-pressed manned space program.  Smithsonian will again solidify its position as the leading aeronautical museum of the earth.  Two for one.  

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