Discovery enters the Smithsonian
4/19/12

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The Space Shuttle Discovery entered its new, permanant home April 19, the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington, DC. The most well known of the three remaining shuttles, Discovery was the oldest and most traveled, with 39 missions into space and one full year of time on orbit. Discovery replaced Enterprise, the shuttle test vehicle, which had resided here for the previous decade. Enterprise's new home will be the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space aircraft carrier museum in New York City.

The photos on this page beginning below, are displayed in the order of the day: overnight before the ceremony, Discovery was demated from the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft using a special crane system, not used in over two decades, on the tarmac at Dulles International Airport (where the museum is located). A few hours later, Enterprise was backed out of the museum and the two were shown nose-to-nose during a transfer ceremony before thousands of visitors. Finally, Discovery was rolled into the museum late in the day, where it will now reside for decades to come. The last photo shows Enterprise, mounted atop the 747 for its trip up to New York City. It was mated the same evening after the ceremony.