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Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 04/16/2012

Space shuttle Discovery events this week

The Space Shuttle Discovery has logged quite a few miles since its maiden voyage in 1984. The shuttle’s final trip is tomorrow — from Florida to Dulles Airport — before enjoying a well-deserved retirement at the Udvar-Hazy Center. (Photo courtesy of NASA)
The Udvar-Hazy Center has quite the schedule of events later this week once the well-traveled space shuttle Discovery comes to town. But first thing’s first: Tomorrow (Tuesday) from 10 to 11 a.m., locals can head outside to see a most interesting piggyback ride. The shuttle is scoring a ride from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a converted 747. Brian Vastag has the scoop on the best locations for spotting the shuttle’s fly-by.

Get a closer look Thursday, when Discovery settles into its new home at the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles. The all-day welcome celebration starts at 11 a.m. with a ceremony featuring 14 Discovery commanders. At 4 p.m., the shuttle will be rolled into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar, where it will be on permanent view. Friday promises a student version of Thursday’s space-fest, with visiting astronauts and educational talks targeting a younger audience.

The celebration continues through Sunday with Discovery Family Weekend. Expect an overview of Discovery’s illustrious career, a look at the innovations over the past 30 years of space exploration and a sneak peek at specialists who will be answering questions when they aren’t tinkering with the space shuttle to prepare it for its final landing place.

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By  |  03:45 PM ET, 04/16/2012

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