Washington, D.C., APRIL 23RD, 2012 — Space shuttle Enterprise, which was set to depart Washington for New York today will now make an attempt Wednesday, April 25th due to poor weather in the D.C. and New York areas. Federal Aviation Administration officials will coordinate the flight, which is scheduled to occur between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT. The exact route and timing will depend on weather and other constraints.
Mounted early Friday morning on top of NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Boeing 747 jet, Enterprise was scheduled to take off from Washington Dulles International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Space Shuttle Program Transition and Retirement managers met Sunday afternoon to evaluate the weather forecast for Space Shuttle Enterprise’s Ferry Flight but deferred setting a date for the Ferry Flight until sometime today due to continued rain from the weekend.
The Intrepid museum posted Friday afternoon via Twitter that the “Enterprise flight to NYC postponed until further notice due to unfavorable weather forecast. Details to follow.”
The National Weather Service forecast shows 90 percent chance of rain at the Dulles airport for Monday with the weather chance of rain dropping to just 20% on Tuesday. At New York’s JFK airport, rain is likely right through the week. At both locations, Wednesday seems to be the only where the chance of rain is low.
“To ensure a safe flight for Enterprise and the SCA, NASA managers, in consultation with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum decided Friday to delay the flight because of inclement weather predicted in both New York and Washington,” NASA officials stated in a released statement. “Managers will continue to review weather forecasts and announce a new flight date as soon as practical.”
Enterprise, which never flew in space, was used for a series of approach and landing tests in the late 1970s and transferred to the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air & Space Museum in 1985. The shuttle prototype finally went on display in 2004 with the opening of the James McDonnell Space Hangar at the museum’s Udvar-Hazy center in Chantilly, VA.
Enterprise Low-Altitude Flyover
Early last week NASA announced it plans to fly Enterprise at low altitudes over various parts of New York City before coming in for a landing at JFK. “If all goes as planned, the aircraft is expected to fly near a variety of landmarks in the metropolitan area, including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum,” a NASA press statement stated. The flyover was said to depend on the weather and other operational constraints.
In June, Enterprise will move by barge to the Intrepid, going past such iconic landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center. When the barge trip along the Hudson River is completed, Enterprise will be raised by crane to a place near the deck of the USS Intrepid, where it will be on public display in a temporary climate controlled facility until a permanent facility can be constructed.
For more information on the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, go to www.intrepidmuseum.org.