Members of the media photograph the space shuttle Discovery attached to a modified Nasa 747 aircraft at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Cape Canaveral - It's departure day for space shuttle Discovery.

At daybreak on Tuesday, Nasa's oldest and most travelled shuttle will take off from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre for Washington aboard a modified jumbo jet. It's set to begin a museum piece at the Smithsonian Institution.

Weather permitting, the jet and shuttle will fly south down the Cape Canaveral beach for everyone to see, before turning north. A low flyover also is planned once they reach Washington.

Discovery is the first of the three retired space shuttles to head to a museum. It will go on display at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, taking the place of the shuttle prototype Enterprise. The Enterprise will shuffle off to New York City.

Endeavour will head to Los Angeles this fall. Atlantis will remain at Kennedy. - Sapa-AP