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Shuttle Discovery Ready For Voyage To Museum

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The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with space shuttle Discovery bolted to its top is backed out of the Mate-Demate Device Monday, April 16, 2012. The SCA will take Discovery to its new home in Virginia on Tuesday. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with space shuttle Discovery bolted to its top is backed out of the Mate-Demate Device Monday, April 16, 2012. The SCA will take Discovery to its new home in Virginia on Tuesday. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

End Of An Era

CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami/AP) — The space shuttle Discovery has one last mission to complete before its put on public display.

On Tuesday, the NASA’s most-flown space plane, will leave its home at Kennedy Space Center for the final time.

It’s bolted atop a modified jumbo jet that’s parked on the old shuttle landing strip. At daybreak Tuesday, the jet will take off for the Washington, D.C., area.

The plane and shuttle will make a farewell flight over Cape Canaveral before heading north.

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.

PHOTO GALLERY: Discovery’s Last Voyage

Discovery is the first of NASA’s three remaining space shuttles to head to a museum. It’s going to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

The agency retired its 30-year space shuttle program in 2011, and Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, the three remaining orbiters in the fleet, plus the early prototype vehicle Enterprise, have found new homes at museums across the country.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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