Space Shuttle Discovery Takes Off One Last Time

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NASA/Tim JacobsUPDATE: The Space Shuttle Discovery, mounted on a 747 carrier aircraft, flew over the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday before being delivered from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to its final home, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution in northern Virginia.

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — After 39 missions since its first flight in 1984, space shuttle Discovery took off one last time on Tuesday to head to its final resting place — a museum in Washington, D.C.

The retired space shuttle departed at daybreak from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where it made its final landing over a year ago on March 9, 2011. 

Propped atop NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, Discovery will fly over the nation’s capital before landing in Dulles International Airport.  It will then be transported to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

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