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Space shuttle Discovery flies into retirement

Updated 6:42 PM ET, Wed September 19, 2012
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Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, goes by the Washington Monument during a flyover of the nation's capital on its trip to retirement Tuesday, April 17. The flight -- the last time Discovery will be aloft -- took it from Florida's Kennedy Space Center to the Washington area, where it will spend retirement as a museum piece at an annex to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, near Dulles International Airport. Getty Images
Discovery and its 747 jumbo jet carrier pass over the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex in Chantilly, Virginia, on Tuesday. The shuttle will be removed from the modified jet and star as the guest of honor at a four-day celebration punctuated by a ceremony Thursday formally welcoming Discovery to the Smithsonian collection. Getty Images
The 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, carrying Discovery, prepares to land at Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday in Chantilly, Virginia. AFP/Getty Images
Discovery flies over the National Mall on Tuesday as it arrives from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The space shuttle Enterprise, which has been on display at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center since 1985, will be moved to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. AFP/Getty Images
Schoolchildren on a tour watch as Discovery flies over the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. AFP/Getty Images
Discovery makes a low pass over the Washington, D.C., area before its final landing Tuesday. Michelle Brooke Poley/CNN
An aspiring astronaut poses in the parking lot of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Tuesday in Chantilly. AFP/Getty Images
Discovery flies over the National Mall before being retired at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Brian Yaklyvich/CNN
People gather to watch the arrival of Discovery at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Tuesday in Chantilly. Getty Images
iReporter Jon Rosiska took this shot at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday. courtesy Jon Rosiska
Shuttle Discovery flies past the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday. AFP/Getty Images
Special guests watch the Discovery's arrival from the observation deck of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Tuesday in Chantilly. AFP/Getty Images
Shuttle Discovery lands at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly. Getty Images
Spectators watch as Discovery passes over the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Tuesday. AFP/Getty Images
Alvin Drew, left, Nicole Stott, Mike Barratt, Steve Bowen, Eric Boe and Steve Lindsey of STS-133, Discovery's last crew, pose for a photo at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Monday, April 16. AFP/Getty Images