Discovery Ends Final Ride

Space shuttle soars above DC, heads for Smithsonian
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2012 6:39 AM CDT
Updated Apr 17, 2012 11:00 AM CDT
Discovery Takes Last Ride
The space shuttle Discovery, sitting atop a 747 carrier aircraft, sits on the tarmac at Dulles.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Space shuttle Discovery landed today at Washington Dulles International Airport, where its wheels will stop for the last time at the Smithsonian. The world's most traveled spaceship landed after taking off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and soaring around the Washington Monument and White House in a salute to the nation's capital. Discovery rode on the back of a 747 jet and took a spin around Washington at an easy-to-spot 1,500 feet before it was grounded for good.

Discovery is the first of the three retired space shuttles to head to a museum. It will go on display at Dulles in Virginia, taking the place of the shuttle prototype Enterprise. The Enterprise will go to New York City. Endeavour will head to Los Angeles this fall. Atlantis will remain at Kennedy. (More space shuttle stories.)

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