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Space shuttle Discovery on its final flight

3 years ago April 17, 2012 Apr 17, 2012 Tuesday, April 17 2012 Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:49:53 AM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's oldest and most traveled space shuttle, Discovery, is being flown to a new life as a museum relic.

Discovery departed Florida's Kennedy Space Center at daybreak today aboard a modified jumbo jet. It's bound for Washington, where it will be a Smithsonian exhibit.

The plane and shuttle headed south for one last flight over the beaches of Cape Canaveral. A similar flyover is planned over the monuments in the nation's capital, later in the morning.

Discovery is the first of the three retired space shuttles to head to a museum. It will go on display at Dulles International Airport 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.

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