Space Shuttle Rides a Jet Into the Sunset

By Freddie Pierce
Take a bow, space shuttle Discovery - it's time to leave exploring the cosmos to the young bloods. So, courtesy of your employer, NASA, please enjo...

Take a bow, space shuttle Discovery - it's time to leave exploring the cosmos to the young bloods. So, courtesy of your employer, NASA, please enjoy your complimentary ride on a real jumbo jet, between Florida and D.C., on Tuesday morning, weather permitting.

It's the least we can do to acknowledge the work of a pioneering instrument of man's journey to the heavens. You - you, Discovery - were the very hands outstretched to touch the face of God. That's why we're strapping you to the back of a modified 747 and dropping you off in the beltway.

Now you may be thinking that this is an extravagant gesture for a machine that can pass through the ionosphere, negotiate the uncompromising vacuum of space, and return safely to the earth. But that's just how NASA takes care of its own.

Please also accept a complimentary oil change.

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Sadly, it will be the last time that you get to enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of nature from unimaginable heights, as you are soon to be entirely decommissioned, stripped of useful parts, and your no-longer-useful carcass put on display in the Smithsonian, there to be ignored by generations of bored tweens texting their friends.

You made it, man - now it's time to get your retirement on in style.

Congratulations!

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