Space shuttle Discovery ready for voyage to museum

Apr 16, 2012 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

(AP) -- Space shuttle Discovery has one last mission to complete.

On Tuesday, the leader of NASA's retired shuttle fleet will leave its home at for the final time. It's bolted atop a modified that's parked on the old shuttle landing strip. At daybreak Tuesday, the jet will take off for the Washington, D.C., area. The plane and shuttle will make a farewell flight over Cape Canaveral before heading north.

Space center workers posed for pictures in front of Discovery on Monday. The six astronauts who flew Discovery's final space trip a year ago also were on hand for the emotional tribute.

Discovery is the first of NASA's three remaining space shuttles to head to a museum. It's going to the Smithsonian Institution.

Explore further: SpaceX cargo capsule nears International Space Station

More information: NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission-pages/shuttle/main/index.html

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