Discovery Shuttle Makes Final Journey

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April 17 2012 3:04 PM

Discovery Shuttle Makes Final Journey

After successfully traveling to space and back 39 times over 28 years, it’s perhaps fitting that Space Shuttle Discovery gets to ride in first class for its last journey.

The famous spacecraft took off one last time from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center early Tuesday morning on the back of a modified jumbo jet, heading for its final destination as an exhibit at the Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. Logging over a year in space since its first mission in 1984, Discovery was retired after its final flight last March. Before landing, the shuttle's flight plan had it effectively buzz the capital Maverick and Goose-style.

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People in the D.C. area eagerly tracked the shuttle’s arrival, using the Twitter hashtags #Disovery and #SpottheShuttle to keep up online. NASA currently has no plans for future manned space vehicles, so our Astronauts may now have to hitch rides on Russian Soyuz capsules to reach the International Space Station.

Chris Wade is a video and podcast producer for Slate and occasional contributor to Brow Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

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