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Smithsonian welcomes Discovery to space collection

Thursday - 4/19/2012, 10:20am  ET

Dennis Jenkins/@isalara
The shuttle Discovery is removed from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft at Dulles International Airport. (Courtesy Dennis Jenkins/@isalara)
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The Enterprise readies to leave for New York

Kristi King, WTOP news


Associated Press

CHANTILLY, Va. - Space shuttle Discovery is preparing to move into its new home at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum annex in northern Virginia.

The world's most traveled spaceship will be lifted off its Boeing 747 carrier and towed to the museum near Dulles International Airport.

Discovery and Enterprise will be rolled out nose to nose during a ceremony that will feature 20 astronauts who flew on Discovery during its 20 years of service.

The festivities, which kick off Thursday at 11 a.m., are expected to draw thousands of visitors who want an up-close look at the shuttle.

Former senator and astronaut John Glenn will help deliver Discovery to its retirement as an artifact representing the 30-year shuttle program.

The museum is hosting a four-day festival to showcase Discovery.

Curator Valerie Neal says Discovery will displayed as if it just landed. There will be an interactive display giving visitors a look inside the shuttle.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)