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Space shuttle Discovery makes its final voyage to Smithsonian

The 167,000 pound Discovery was loaded on Sunday on the top of an airplane which will fly the shuttle to Washington DC for its retirement at the Smithsonian Museum.

shuttle discoveryEnlarge
The space shuttle Discovery was decommissioned recently and will be flown to its new home at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC in the coming days. (Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Space shuttle Discovery will make its final voyage on Tuesday - on the back of an airplane.

The 167,000 pound Discovery was loaded on Sunday on the top of an airplane which will fly it to the Washington DC area, where it will be housed at the Smithsonian's outpost near Dulles International Airport.

According to the Washington Post, the Boeing 747 airplane carrying the special load will leave the Kennedy Space Center in Florida around 7 a.m. and pass over the nation's capital around 10 a.m. for a 40-minute aerial tour for spectators.

The decommissioned shuttle made its maiden flight on August 30, 1984 and its final landing on March 9, 2011.

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Over its nearly 30 years it made 39 voyages to space. It was the third orbiter shuttle created by NASA after the Columbia and Challenger.

According to Bay News 9, the space shuttle Enterprise, currently housed at the Smithsonian, will be moved to New York City in April to make room for the Discovery.

According to Space, this is not the first meeting of this particular 747 and the Discovery.

The same plane carried the Discovery to the Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 9, 1983 just months before its maiden voyage.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/science/120416/space-shuttle-discovery-makes-its-final-voyage-smithsonia