Space shuttle Discovery mounted atop jumbo jet for its voyage to Smithsonian

Space shuttle Discovery was mounted over a jumbo jet On Sunday, making it ready for its trip to the orbiter’s delivery to the Smithsonian. The pair of the jet and the shuttle are expected to depart on Tuesday from Florida to Washington DC.

The mammoth 167,000 pound Discovery was supposed to mate with the jet on Saturday, however gusty winds led to it being postponed to Sunday. The complicated procedure was completed at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility, Discovery swaying under its lift sling, posing a risk that it could impact the Mate Demate Device (MDD), the gantry-like steel structure used to hoist the shuttle onto the jetliner.

Among the space program workers expected to come out and view Discovery on Monday are the members of its 39th and final spaceflight, the six astronauts who flew the STS-133 mission in March 2011.


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