The space shuttle Discovery embarked on its final flight Tuesday, taking off on top of a specially-adapted jumbo jet from Florida toward its new home -- a museum in Virginia.

The world's most traveled spaceship was hitching a ride Tuesday on top a Boeing 747 jet. (WATCH TIMELAPSE VIDEO BELOW) The pair took a leisurely spin at an easy-to-spot 1,500 feet around Washington.

The spacecraft, which was the leader of NASA's retired fleet of shuttles, left its current home at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., piggybacked to the top of the plane at 7:00am ET.

The space shuttle  soared around the Washington Monument, the White House and the Capitol in a high-flying salute to the nation's capital.

The shuttle-jet combo was set to land at Dulles International Airport. On Thursday, it will be towed to its permanent installation at the Smithsonian's annex in northern Virginia.

Discovery flew nearly 149 million miles before it was retired last year. Discovery will replace the shuttle Enterprise at the museum. The Enterprise was a shuttle prototype that never flew in orbit. It will move to a New York museum.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press and Newscore.

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