Discovery space shuttle coming to Smithsonian

Discovery's final flight ended on March 9, 2011.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian Institution is planning 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 a series of 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 depart from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the back of a Boeing 747 on April 17. It is expected to arrive by midmorning and will fly over parts of the Washington area.

The Smithsonian is planning "Spot the Shuttle" gatherings at various locations. A formal ceremony for Discovery is planned for April 19 at the museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia where it will be displayed.