NASA Space Shuttle Discovery’s spectacular final flight

One last hurrah – Shuttle Discovery flies piggy-back to Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center

Credit: Larry Downing / Reuters

NASA space shuttle Discovery took a spectacular ride around Washington, DC today on its way to its final stop – Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport in Virginia. Discovery was mounted atop the space agency's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and made a number of photo-friendly low passes – at about 1,500 feet around parts of the capitol region. Here’s a look at the giant flying photo-op.

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The space shuttle Discovery, riding atop a NASA 747 transport jet, sits on the Dulles International Airport tarmac after arrival in Virginia.

Credit: Gary Cameron / Reuters

The space shuttle Discovery riding atop a NASA 747 transport jet.

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Discovery does a final fly-by over the White House.

Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

The Space Shuttle Discovery and its big piggy-back transport.

Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

On its final mission, the Space Shuttle Discovery passes the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol.

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People watch from the base of the Washington Monument as the U.S. space shuttle Discovery, on the back NASA’s 747 transport plane.

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Discovery flies by Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

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The space shuttle Discovery does a fly-by as it arrives at Dulles International Airport.

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The space shuttle Discovery is shown attached to a modified NASA 747 aircraft as it is towed from the Mate Demate facility at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Credit: Joe Skipper / Reuters

Space center workers watch as the space shuttle Discovery is approached by a converted NASA 747 aircraft.

Credit: Joe Skipper / Reuters

Discovery is elevated in the Mate Demate facility at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., April 15, 2012. Discovery was later mated with the 747 for its relatively short piggy-back flight to Virginia.

Credit: Joe Skipper / Reuters

The space shuttle Discovery is approached by a NASA 747.

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NASA’s 747 aircraft stands by to be mated with the space shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center.

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The space shuttle Discovery gets ready to fly to the Smithsonian at Kennedy Space Center. Here Discovery was towed for the last time out of the vehicle assembly building.

Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

People look up from the rooftop of RFK Stadium in Washington to see the Space Shuttle Discovery fly past.