The Space Shuttle Discovery, piggybacking aboard a Boeing 747, touched down at Dulles International Airport a short while ago, capping a leisurely ride up to Washington D.C. from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The venerable spacefaring vessel will be brought to rest at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

"It's good to see her one more time, and it's great that Discovery is going to a good home. Hopefully, millions of people for many, many years to come will go see Discovery," Discovery's last commander, Steven Lindsey, told the Associated Press. "It's also sad. ... It's sad to see that the program is over."

Launched in 1984, Discovery flew a fleet-leading 39 space missions. It will replace the Enterprise — the pioneering Space Shuttle orbiter, which never made it to space.

Plans are already in place to send the Space Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles this fall. Atlantis, meanwhile, will remain at Kennedy for the time being.

NASA retired its 30-year-old Space Shuttle program last summer, following the final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in July.

[photos @adamwells, @dougmillsnyt via @Alex Ogle]