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Discovery officially handed over to new home

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Discovery officially handed over to new home

Discovery officially handed over to new home
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The retired space shuttle Discovery has been officially handed over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in the US, during a ceremony attended by astronauts and fans.

Discovery completed 39 missions during a career spanning nearly three decades.

“The hope that we leave with you today is that this magnificent flying machine, that carried more people to space than any vehicle before, will be a testament, not only to overcoming the human and technological obstacles of the day, but a tangible example that our dreams of exploration, of reaching our higher potential, are always within reach if we stretch for them,” said Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, during the ceremony.

The iconic Discovery spacecraft has an impressive track record. As well as deploying satellites, it was also the first shuttle to travel to the Russian space station Mir and to dock with the International Space Station.

It will go on show in the exact place where the prototype shuttle Enterprise has been displayed in a space hangar in Virginia.

The decision to retire the space shuttle fleet was made in 2004 and the last flights were in 2011.
Discovery is the first retired shuttle to arrive at its final home.