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Photos: Space Shuttle Discovery's Final Voyage (to Museum)

End of an Era

U.S. Air Force graphic/Corey Parrish, photo/Bobby Jones

After almost 27 years and 39 flights in Earth's orbit, the space shuttle Discovery arrived at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., April 17 on its way to its final resting place.

Discovery Flies

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sophia Piellusch

The last flight of the space shuttle Discovery flies over Joint Base Andrews, Md. on April 17, 2012. Discovery piggy -backed a ride on a jumbo 747 from NASA KTTS Landing Facility.

Discovery Carried by NASA Aircraft

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Katie Spencer

A NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the space shuttle Discovery performs a fly-by, April 17, 2012 at Joint Base Andrews, Md. The aircraft landed at Washington Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Va., before its transfer to the National Air and Space Museum. Discovery completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles.

Shuttle Discovery Sits Atop Boeing Aircraft

U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis

The space shuttle Discovery, sitting on top of a modified NASA Boeing 747 aircraft, flies over Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., April 17, 2012. The Discovery made its final voyage to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex in Virginia.

Crowd Watches Shuttle Discovery

U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis

A crowd watches as the space shuttle Discovery, sitting on top of a modified NASA Boeing 747 aircraft, taxis on the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., April 17, 2012. The Discovery made its final voyage to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex in Virginia.

Shuttle Discovery Flies Over Smithsonian Museum Home

NASA/Carla Cioffi

Spectators watch as space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) flies over the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Chantilly, Va. More than 6,000 spectators turned out to welcome Discovery to its museum home.

Shuttle Discovery in Silhouette

collectSPACE/Ben Cooper

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies into the sunrise above Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 17, 2012. The ferry flight, destined for Washington, D.C., marked the final departure for Discovery from its home for three decades. [See full story.]

Spot the Shuttle: Discovery's Final Fight - Tina Paul

Tina Paul

Shuttle spotter Tina Paul snapped this amazing photo of Discovery soaring over the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Md., on April 17, 2012 as NASA delivered the shuttle to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for display. [See full story.]

Space Shuttle Discovery Over D.C.

NASA/Chris Gunn

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) is seen from Top of the Town in Arlington, Virginia as it flies near the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Washington.

Shuttle Discovery Flies Over Smithsonian Museum Home

NASA/Robert Markowitz

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) flies over the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Washington. NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum to begin its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers.

Fans Greet Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and Shuttle Discovery

Clara Moskowitz/SPACE.com

Some of the estimated 6,000 visitors to the Udvar-Hazy Center, northern Virginia, take photos of the SCA carrying retired shuttle Discovery on April 17, 2012.

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