Discovery came to the Udvar-Hazy Center by the way of a ferry flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday (April 17). The winged orbiter landed at Washington Dulles International Airport mounted atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Before touching down, the air- and spacecraft duo performed an historic flyover of Washington, D.C. and many of its landmarks. [Photos: Shuttle Discovery Flies to Smithsonian]
Rolling up to the Udvar-Hazy Center on Thursday morning, Discovery was parked for the ceremony opposite the orbiter that made its own spaceflights possible.
Enterprise, a prototype shuttle that never flew in space but completed a series of critical approach and landing test flights in the late 1970s, had been part of the National Air and Space Museum's collection since 1985. In December 2003, it went on display inside the Udvar-Hazy Center's McDonnell Space Hangar as its centerpiece.
To make room for Discovery, the Smithsonian returned ownership of Enterprise to NASA in 2011. The space agency, in turn, awarded the test orbiter to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a converted World War II aircraft carrier berthed along the Hudson River in New York City.
On Thursday, Enterprise was rolled out of the museum's hangar and displayed with Discovery nose-to-nose.