Discovery’s Final Flight

space shuttle Discovery

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crowds watching Discovery

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Discovery passing over the Library of Congress

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Discover passes over the Supreme Court

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Discovery passes by the Washington Monument

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Discovery on the back of NASA’s 747

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shuttle Discovery

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After 39 successful missions over 27 years of service, the space shuttle Discovery made its final flight on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, when it made several passes above Washington’s National Mall and Capitol Hill on the back of NASA’s  747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The aerial tour drew hundreds to the Capitol grounds for a final glimpse of the shuttle.

Discovery, which made its maiden flight on August 30, 1984, will find its permanent home in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the companion facility to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.