This morning, the Space Shuttle Discovery was carried on a Boeing 747 from its former home at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to its new home at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia (near Dulles International Airport). The decommissioned shuttle soared over the massive crowds that gathered on the National Mall to say farewell. As the longest-serving orbiter, Discovery took 39 flights over 27 years, with its last flight as recently as February 24, 2011. According to a press release from the National Air and Space Museum, Discovery orbited the earth 5,830 times, spent 365 days in space, and traveled a total of 148,221,675 miles. After 30 years, NASA has ended the space-shuttle program (for now) to focus on destinations beyond the Earth’s orbit. The Space Shuttle Discovery can be seen at its final resting place inside of a hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located about 25 miles west of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Admission to Udvar-Hazy is free, but parking is $15 (free after 4:00 p.m.).
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