Space Shuttle Discovery lands at Dulles

US space shuttle Discovery sitting atop NASA's 747 shuttle carrier aircraft flies over Washington monument in Washington,DC on April 17, 2012 as it arrives from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to be displayed at the National Air and Space museum near the US capital. Getty Images

(CBS/AP/WKMG) CHANTILLY, Va. - Space shuttle Discovery has landed at Washington Dulles International Airport, where its wheels will stop for the last time at the Smithsonian.

The world's most traveled spaceship landed Tuesday after taking off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and soaring around the Washington Monument and White House in a salute to the nation's capital.

Discovery rode on the back of a 747 jet and took a spin around Washington at an easy-to-spot 1,500 feet before it was grounded for good.

Discovery will be towed Thursday to its installation at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles in northern Virginia.

Discovery flew nearly 149 million miles before retiring last year.

The orbiter, known as OV-103, was hoisted Sunday onto the 747 that delivered it to Dulles. The work had originally been scheduled for Saturday but was delayed a day due to high winds, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

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.


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