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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 04/19/2012

Smithsonian welcomes space shuttle Discovery into its collection at Virginia museum hangar

The space shuttle Discovery arrived at its new home at Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Northern Virginia Thursday morning.

Thousands of spectators, as well as astronauts, are attending the day-long celebration marking the shuttle’s retirement, an artifact of the country’s 30-year shuttle program.

Discovery began its move from Dulles Airport Thursday morning, where it has been stored since it arrived in the Washington area to much fanfare on Tuesday.

The shuttle arrived at Udvar-Hazy, the National Air and Space Museum’s Northern Virginia annex, about 11 a.m.

The U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps will provide a soundtrack as Discovery’s crew members make an appearance and the shuttle meets “nose-to-nose” with the Enterprise, a space shuttle prototype that until now has been on display at the museum. The Enterprise will soon embark on its own airborne tour as it moves to a new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan.

The museum is hosting a four-day festival to showcase Discovery.

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Video: National Cathedral staff watched Discovery flyover

By  |  11:40 AM ET, 04/19/2012

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