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Look! Up in the sky! It's Space Shuttle Discovery. (+video)

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(Read caption) Raw video: Plane carrying Discovery takes off
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What a day to live in Washington, a city disparaged by so many Americans.

At 9:30 this morning, I laced up my office set of tennis shoes, pushed back from my desk, and walked down to the Washington Monument to witness the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery. After three decades of space travel, this aeronautic workhorse was flying piggy-back on a modified Boeing 747 to its resting place at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum annex in northern Virginia.

People streamed in modest rivulets toward the National Mall: tourists and bureaucrats, people of all races, Republicans and Democrats, foreigners and school kids. Just before 10 a.m., from the direction of the State Department, the jet and its distinct roof-top baggage rumbled low and slow across the mall, bisecting the space between the Washington and Lincoln memorials and swooping toward the Jefferson Memorial. The crowd, not as big as I expected, let out a quiet cheer.


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