Space Shuttle Discovery Arrived in Washington

The space shuttle Discovery arrived in Washington on April 17, where it will   go   on 

permanent display at the Smithsonian later this week. The retired space plane was delivered to the nation’s capital mounted to the space agency’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet, on a final ferry flight that included a historic flyover of the National Mall and some of its nearby monuments and federal buildings. The air- and spacecraft duo landed at Washington Dulles International Airport at 11:05 a.m. EDT (1505 GMT). The four-hour flight left the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:00 a.m. (1100 GMT), just after dawn. Guests at Kennedy’s visitor complex and spectators along the space coast were treated to a final flyby of Discovery before the shuttle began its trip up the Eastern Seaboard. In the three decades since, Discovery flew 39 missions, more than any other spacecraft in history, and logged more than a year in space. It became the first of NASA’s three shuttles to be retired when it landed a final time from space on March 9, 2011. Now on the ground at Dulles, Discovery, still atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, will be moved to a remote apron at the airport where NASA has pre-staged large cranes to offload the orbiter starting on Wednesday (April 18). On Thursday morning, Discovery will be rolled over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located adjacent to the airport, for a transfer ceremony. By the end of the day Thursday, should all go as planned, Discovery will take its place in the Udvar-Hazy’s James S. McDonnell Space Hangar as its centerpiece.
source:www.space.com