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PHOTOS: Smithsonian Plans Festival To Welcome Discovery

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Space Shuttle Discovery sits in the Vehicle Assembly Building as technicians continue to ready it for transport to Washington, DC's National Air and Space museum on July 19, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Space Shuttle Discovery sits in the Vehicle Assembly Building as technicians continue to ready it for transport to Washington, DC's National Air and Space museum on July 19, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

WASHINGTON -- The Smithsonian Institution plans a four-day festival with NASA to welcome space shuttle Discovery into its collection in April.

The National Air and Space Museum announced plans Tuesday for more than 25 special exhibits, programs and activities to highlight the history of the 30-year space shuttle program and the future of space exploration.

Discovery is scheduled to leave NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the back of a Boeing 747 on April 17 and fly over parts of the Washington area. The Smithsonian is planning "Spot the Shuttle" gatherings at various locations.

A formal ceremony is planned April 19 at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, where it will be displayed.

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