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Space Shuttle Discovery Makes Final Takeoff

Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s oldest and most traveled space shuttle, Discovery, is being flown to a new life as a museum relic.

Discovery departed Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at daybreak Tuesday aboard a modified jumbo jet. It’s bound for Washington, where it will be a Smithsonian exhibit.

The plane and shuttle headed south for one last flight over the beaches of Cape Canaveral. A similar flyover is planned over the monuments in the nation’s capital, later in the morning.

Discovery is the first of the three retired space shuttles to head to a museum. It will go on display at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, taking the place of the shuttle prototype Enterprise. The Enterprise will go to New York City.

Endeavour will head to Los Angeles this fall. Atlantis will remain at Kennedy.

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