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Space shuttle Discovery lands at new home near DC

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published April 17, 2012 at 7:22 a.m. Updated April 17, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.

space-shuttle-discovery-atop-a-747-carrier-jet-departs-the-kennedy-space-center-tuesday-april-17-2012-in-cape-canaveral-fla

Space shuttle Discovery atop a 747 carrier jet departs the Kennedy Space Center, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

— 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 Boeing 747 jet and took a spin around Washington at an easy-to-spot 1,500 feet before it was grounded for good.

Thousands packed the National Mall to watch the pair swoop by.

“Look at that — that thing is mammoth,” said Terri Jacobsen of Bethesda, Md. She brought her 12-year-old home-schooled son to the mall to watch the flyover.

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.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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