We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 18 Apr 2012 10:58 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight

The oldest and most travelled vehicle in NASA's space shuttle program, Discovery will be placed on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum

Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
The space shuttle Discovery made its final voyage on Tuesday: a piggyback jet ride to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex in Virginia. (Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
The United States retired its space shuttles last year after finishing construction of the $100 billion International Space Station, a project of 15 countries, to begin work on a new generation of spaceships that can carry astronauts to destinations beyond the station's 240-mile-high (384-km-high) orbit. (Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
Discovery, the fleet leader of NASA's three surviving shuttles, completed its last spaceflight in March 2011. It was promised to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, the nation's official repository for space artifacts.(Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
"It's sad to see this happening," said NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, a member of Discovery's final crew. "But you look at it and you just can't help but be impressed by it. That's my hope now, that every time someone looks at that vehicle they are impressed, that they feel that this is what we can do when we challenge ourselves." (Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
For its last ride, Discovery took off not from its seaside launch pad but atop a modified Boeing 747 carrier jet that taxied down the Kennedy Space Center's runway at dawn. The shuttle's tail was capped with an aerodynamically shaped cone and its windows were covered. (AFP/Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
"It's a very emotional, poignant, bittersweet moment," said former astronaut Mike Mullane, a veteran of three space shuttle missions. "When it's all happening you think, ‘This will never end,' but we all move on."(Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
After a looping around the U.S. capital and delighting spectators on the National Mall, the shuttle carrier plane touched down at Washington Dulles International Airport shortly after 11 a.m. EDT.(AFP/Getty Images)
Space Shuttle Discovery makes final flight
Discovery, which first flew in August 1984, was to be transferred to the Smithsonian's nearby Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. (AFP/Getty Images)