17/04/2012 16:12 BST | Updated 17/10/2014 15:59 BST

Discovery Space Shuttle Makes Final Flight Before Decommission

The American space shuttle Discovery has made its final journey ahead of retirement at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Virginia.

The shuttle, one of the last remaining of a generation of iconic space shuttles, was carried by a Boeing 747 jet, and performed a lap of honour in air the around Washington DC on its way to Dulles Airport, from where it will then be taken to the museum in Chantilly.

NASA has decommissioned the shuttle with the completion of the $100bn, 15-country International Space Station project.

The space agency will now work on a new class of shuttle capable of travelling and transporting astronauts to the next frontier in space.

The Discovery, one of the three remaining NASA shuttles, last flew in March 2011, will sit in a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum, replacing the Enterprise shuttle, used in the 1970s.