Final Flight Home
POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 7:14pm
Perched atop a jumbo jet, retired Space Shuttle Discovery took off at daybreak Tuesday, leaving the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a final time.
It made for a perfect sunrise for the curious who lined beaches nearby, but Discovery really dazzled when it arrived mid-morning over Washington, DC.
There was a dramatic fly-over of the national mall, the sight framed by the capitol's iconic monuments and crowds gathered below to watch the aerial parade.
Discovery is headed to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum for permanent display at the museum annex at Dulles Airport near Washington.
Another crowd awaited its arrival there.
"She will provide a platform for inspiration for young children and for citizens everywhere," said National Air & Space Museum director General Jack Daley.
With 39 trips into space over the 28 years, Shuttle Discovery is the most flown spacecraft in history.