Discovery Final Departure

On April 17th, 2012 the Space Shuttle Discovery departed Kennedy Space Center for the final time on top of the remaining Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 747 (N905NA). Discovery was delivered to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC where it will be displayed for all to see the most-flown shuttle orbiter with 39 missions under its belt.  

Discovery pauses for a minute with a NASA Huey while it taxis to the end of the Shuttle Landing Runway for the last time.

The 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and Discovery depart runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center.

N905NA has carried five different aircraft over its lifetime.

Low flyover of the Kennedy Space Center.

Discovery departs the area for the last time ever after completing a flyover of eastern Brevard County.

A view of the cockpit of the 747-100 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

The inside of the 747 is completely gutted in the back to allow more weight to be carried. Note the additional supports inside the aircraft.

Workers complete the attachment of one of two ball joints which secure the orbiter to the top of the 747.