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Celebrate the final flight of Space Shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center

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After 27 years of service, 39 missions, 246 astronauts carried, 365 days in space and 148,221,675 miles traveled, space shuttle orbiter Discovery is departing Kennedy Space Center for the last time. Guests will be able to be apart of the farewell celebration from April 14 through 17, 2012 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Through scheduled exclusive Discovery bus tours, guests will be able to see the orbiter as it is lifted and placed atop a specially designed Boeing 747 aircraft. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet astronauts from the first Discovery flight STS-41D and the final Discovery flight STS-133. As a collectible and complimentary gift during the four-day festivities, guests will receive a lithograph of the STS-41D and STS-133 crews as a keepsake.

There will also be two unique opportunities to view the fly-out of Discovery at approximately 7 a.m. on April 17. For the first time, a limited number of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests will have a front-row seat to witness the departure of Discovery from the Shuttle Landing Facility and from the Visitor Complex.

Celebration events include:

Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15:

  • Multiple daily presentations of the IMAX 2D-movie “The Dream is Alive”.
  • Special Discovery tour, including a drive-by of the mate-demate device at the Shuttle Landing Facility with viewing of Discovery as it is mated to the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and drive by of Launch Pad 39-A with the tour culminating at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Photo opportunities will be available from the bus. This is an additional ticket price of $20 per adult/$14 per child in addition to regular admission.

Monday, April 16:

  • Multiple daily presentations of the IMAX 2D-movie “The Dream is Alive”.
  • Appearances by crewmembers from the inaugural and final missions of space shuttle Discovery with select photo opportunities.
  • Lunch with the Astronauts of STS-41D, the first flight of Discovery, at noon in the Debus Conference Facility. Confirmed astronauts include Commander Hank Hartsfield, Mission Specialists Steve Hawley and Mike Mullane, and Payload Specialist Charlie Walker.
  • Astronaut Encounter with the crews of STS-41D and STS-133 from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with limited seating based on a first come, first serve basis.

Tuesday, April 17:

  • Limited availability at the Shuttle Landing Facility for guests to view take-off and fly-over. Additional transportation and ticket price for this up-close historic opportunity is $40 per person plus admission.
  • Fly-over of Discovery at 300 feet above the Rocket Garden. Viewing is included in regular admission price. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and arrive by 6:00 a.m..
  • Discovery Crew appearance by select members of the STS-41D crew.
  • Live NASA fly-out commentary and video will be broadcast.
  • Astronaut Encounter with select members of the STS-41D crew at 11a.m.
  • Multiple daily presentations of the IMAX 2D-movie “The Dream is Alive”.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open daily starting at 9 a.m. The festivities are free with admission unless stated differently above. Admission is $45 plus tax for adults and $35 plus tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Here’s an inside look at the specially designed Boeing 747 aircrafts used to transport the shuttles:

A look at the 747 Space Shuttle Carrier Aircrafts used by NASA

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