Discovery Shuttle - Retirement journey to DC

Following the last flight of Discovery to her new home at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum April 2012

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  1. Discovery Rolls Out Of The Vehicle Assembly Building (KSC-2012-2055)
  2. "April 14, 2012 — Space shuttle Discovery hit the road early Saturday (April 14) to board its jumbo jet ride to the Smithsonian.

    Leaving the Kennedy Space Center's 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building at 5:00 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT), Discovery was destined for a steel gantry but not a launch pad. Rolled out before dawn, the retired spacecraft was instead headed for where it last landed from space more than a year ago.

    Discovery's final flight plan will take it to Washington D.C. to go on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. If the weather cooperates, the air- and space-craft combo will depart Florida at just after dawn on Tuesday (April 17), touching down later that same morning at Dulles International Airport."

    Quoted from:
  3. Discovery Ready For Mate-Demate Device (KSC-2012-2086)
  4. Discovery Ready For Mate-Demate Device (KSC-2012-2082)
  5. Nice animation here from the Washington Post - 
  6. Discovery Ready For Mate-Demate Device (KSC-2012-2099)
  7. Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility -  Discovery will be hoisted off the ground by the Mate-Demate Device (MDD). The gantry-like metal structure was designed to load orbiters onto the back of NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), a modified Boeing 747 used to ferry the winged spacecraft around the USA This will take most of the day. 
  8. A few posts to give you some background to this final "flight" 

  9. Space Shuttle Era: Ferry Flights