Discovery landed after her final mission on March 9, after having flown for 27 years. The craft clocked 148 million miles, circled the Earth 5,830 times in 39 missions and managed to add, in all, a full year spent in space.
Now, as it sits in the NASA hangars for her final moments, the space shuttle is getting ready to go through down mission processing and transition retirement processing which, in essence, are similar to getting the craft ready for another mission.
Discovery will be bled out of all fluids, stripped of non-essential and potentially dangerous parts and then brought in shape to meet the visitors of the famous museum starting later in the year. What's left of it at NASA will be studied for further knowledge to be gained as the shuttle space program is coming to an end.
"We can still learn a lot from these vehicles. There are some hydraulics systems and some other things that we haven't really had a chance to have a look at because it was really too invasive to get in there and take a look at it," Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations was quoted as saying by Space.com.