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Space Shuttle Discovery Ready For Demate (201204180003HQ)

Cranes raise the sling in preparation for the demate of the Space shuttle Discovery from the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) at Washington Dulles International Airport, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Sterling, VA. Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles. NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum to begin its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Taken on April 18, 2012