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Space Shuttle Enterprise Gets New Home at Intrepid

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum has opened a new pavilion to house the space shuttle Enterprise.

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Transportation Nation

Space Shuttle Enterprise to New York On Friday

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

(New York, NY -- Soterios Johnson, WNYC) NASA officials are delaying the arrival of the Space Shuttle Enterprise to New York until Friday.

Space Shuttle Enterprise is now  scheduled to come to New York on Friday morning on the back of a specially modified NASA 747.  That is, if the weather permits.

This just in, from NASA:

NASA managers, in coordination with Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum officials, tentatively are targeting Friday, April 27, for the ferry of space shuttle Enterprise from Washington Dulles International Airport to John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York.

Managers shifted the flight from Wednesday to Friday because of a large region of low pressure dominating the East Coast. The weather is predicted to be more favorable Friday.

NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with Enterprise mounted atop will fly at a relatively low altitude over various parts of the New York City metropolitan area on Friday. The aircraft is expected to fly near a variety of landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and Intreprid. After the flyover is complete, the SCA will land at JFK.

The Federal Aviation Administration is coordinating the flight, which is scheduled to occur between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT, weather permitting. The exact route and timing depend on weather and operational constraints.

WNYC is collecting photos on Friday:  Send in your photos here. (scroll to bottom of post)

See the results here.

A large region of low pressure on the East Coast has made it difficult to predict an acceptable day for the flight. NASA officials will keep a close eye on the weather.

"It's the crosswinds they worry about and gusts.  And also rain," said Matt Woods of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where the shuttle will be going on display this summer.  "You know it doesn't fly like a typical aircraft when you have this large 160,000-pound object on its back.  The aerodynamics are off a little bit.  And they just want to make sure they do it right."

If weather conditions permit, the shuttle will be flown to Kennedy Airport on Friday from Washington D.C., where it has been on display at the Smithsonian Institution. The jumbo jet carrying the shuttle will perform a low-altitude flyover of the shuttle's new hometown, perhaps passing by city landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid.

Enterprise was built as a prototype vehicle for the shuttle program to perform test flights and landings.  And, even though this shuttle never actually went into space, the Intrepid Museum's Woods says it's an important acquisition.

"We look at the Enterprise as really the test vehicle that made the rest all possible, that made all the space exploration possible with the Space Shuttle program,” he said.  “Without Enterprise, without proving that you could do takeoffs and landings with these things, you never would have gotten further with the program."

After it arrives in New York, Enterprise will be transported in early June from JFK Airport to the Intrepid Museum by barge through the New York Harbor and up the Hudson River.  It will then be lifted by crane onto the Intrepid's flight deck.  The museum plans to have the shuttle exhibit open to the public by July.

"We're going to design an experience around the outside of the shuttle, but we'll be able to walk under ours here," said Woods.  "We'll build some ramp systems, where you can see it from different angles, create a nice lightshow and a defined exhibit route with interactive audio-visuals -- create a whole experience."

 

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