You almost want to rub your eyes when you first see it. It doesn't seem real. It doesn't belong there. But there it is, the space shuttle Discovery mounted on top of a specially modified Boeing 747 airplane.
At first light Tuesday, Discovery will fly out from the Kennedy Space Center one last time. In a salute to the past and all those who were part of the shuttle program, the aircraft will fly over launch pad A, down the beach and over the space center visitor complex before heading north.
Discovery's next stop will be its last. The oldest of the three orbiters with more than 148 million miles on her is going to the Smithsonian in Washington.
"Bittersweet," said Discovery's last commander Steve Lindsey, "is an overused word, but it is sad." Lindsey and the five others who flew last February on mission 133 came out to say goodbye.
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