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

Discovery Lifted in the Mate-Demate Device

NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery slowly is lifted off the ground inside the mate-demate device in preparation for the arrival of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The device, known as the MDD, is a large gantry-like steel structure used to hoist a shuttle off the ground and position it onto the back of the aircraft, or SCA.

Shuttle Discovery Set for Smithsonian Trip

collectSPACE.com/Robert Pearlman

Space shuttle Discovery, suspended in Kennedy Space Center's Mate-Demate Device, was delayed a day being lifted atop its jumbo jet ride to the Smithsonian due to winds on April 14, 2012.

Space Shuttle Discovery Move Complete

NASA/Kim Shiflett

Space Shuttle Discovery’s move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the mate-demate device, or MDD, at the Shuttle Landing Facility, or SLF, is complete as the sun rises over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At the SLF, Discovery will be secured on the back of a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA. The MDD is a large gantry-like steel structure used to hoist a shuttle off the ground and position it atop an SCA.

Discovery Completes 3-Point Turn

NASA/Kim Shiflett

Space shuttle Discovery completes a three-point turnaround outside the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, for its trip to the Shuttle Landing Facility, or SLF. Its move got under way at 5 a.m. EDT, on April 14, 2012. Discovery was in storage in the VAB’s high bay 4 awaiting departure from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39 area for the final time.

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Through Mate-Demate Device

NASA/Kim Shiflett

The newly arrived Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is seen through the platforms of the mate-demate device at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo taken April 10, 2012.

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Lands #2

collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman

NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 10, 2012.

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Lands

NASA TV

NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 10, 2012.

John Glenn & Bob Cabana Inside Shuttle Discovery

NASA

Senator John Glenn and Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana reminisce inside the flight deck of space shuttle Discovery in the Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility. Glenn flew on Discovery as a mission specialist in 1998 and Cabana served as pilot for Discovery during a mission in 1990 and another in 1992.

NASA T-38 Jet and Shuttle Discovery

NASA/Story Musgrave

Two NASA T-38 jets, like the one seen here in the foreground, will scout the skies ahead of space shuttle Discovery (background) arriving in Washington, D.C.

Space Shuttle Discovery Payload Bay Doors Final Closure

collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman

Space shuttle Discovery twin 60-foot payload bay doors were closed for a final time on Dec. 16, 2011 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida

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