New York, NY, APRIL 27TH, 2012 - The Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise has landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
After more than a quarter century on the ground, the vehicle’s short flight from Washington’s Dulles International Airport to New York will likely be its last. Enterprise, the original prototype for NASA’s space shuttle vehicles departed Washington, D.C. around 9:40 a.m. EDT mounted atop NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
This flight moves Enterprise from the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a converted World War II aircraft carrier, permanently docked at Pier 86 in Manhattan.
This is the second ferry flight in the past two weeks as the agency continues to relocate the retired shuttle fleet to permanent display facilities throughout the US. Last week, the same Shuttle Carrier Aircraft ferried shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Washington where it replaced Enterprise on exhibit at the Smithsonian.
Designated OV-101 (Orbiter Vehicle 101), Enterprise was built to perform test flights within Earth’s atmosphere. Designed without physical engines, a heat shield and many systems required for space flight, the space vehicle would never leave Earth, making it the only space shuttle never to fly in space.
Enterprise has traveled the world in ways no other orbiters have, visiting the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, and within the United States, California, Alabama and Louisiana. Enterprise was sent via barge to Louisiana for display during the 1984 World’s Fair. While in California it was used as a fit-check to the never-used shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
On November 18, 1985 Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution and sat in storage until the opening of the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in November of 2004.
When destinations were announced in 2011 for the retired fleet, New York was selected for placement of Enterprise. “When Enterprise touches down at JFK [Airport], it will signify the first step of its final journey to educate and inspire millions of people around the world about the groundbreaking work of the NASA space program,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D – New York). “The Enterprise will immediately become an iconic and must-see destination in New York that will further contribute to our reputation as the greatest city in the world.”
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.
About The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum complex includes the 900-foot-long aircraft carrier “Intrepid” with seven full decks and four theme halls; the guided missile submarine Growler; and an extensive collection of over 30 aircraft including the A-12 Blackbird (the fastest plane in the world), and the British Airways Concorde (the fastest commercial aircraft in the world). Guests can experience areas of the ship including the Flight Deck, Hangar Deck, fo’c’sle (commonly known as the anchor chain room), new multimedia presentations and exhibit collections, interactive educational stations and a state-of-the-art public pier.
Guests to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum also can experience the 12,240 square-foot interactive Exploreum – which contains a variety of hands-on exhibits – that teaches guests about the different properties of the sea, air, space and living at sea as each relates to the ship Intrepid. In the Exploreum, guests can experience a flight simulator, transmit messages using Morse code, sit on the bunk of a crew member, learn how the Intrepid turned salt water into fresh water and perform various tasks while wearing space gloves.
For more information, go to www.intrepidmuseum.org.
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