20 farewell photos of Space Shuttle Discovery's retirement flight

Space Shuttle Discovery, the eldest of NASA's surviving space-worthy orbiters, helped build the ISS and carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. It was brought into service after the tragedies that claimed Challenger and Columbia, and went on to complete 39 missions during which it logged 365 days in space, 5,830 orbits around the Earth and 148,221,675 miles traveled. Discovery completed its final mission on March 9, after STS-133.

Below, Discovery goes for one last victory lap before being consigned to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. You'll see Discovery mated to its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, buzz a few monuments in the nation's capital and finally give travelers at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. one of the coolest photo ops ever. It's all down below.


All quoted captions below courtesy NASA.

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