Unstable weather has temporarily grounded the last flight of Space Shuttle Enterprise for just a few more days.
Visitors to New York City – Prepare yourselves for a breathtaking view !
NASA is tentatively targeting Friday, April 27 as the date of the historic ferryflight of Enterprise from the Washington, DC area to the New York City metropolitan area, if the weather cooperates.
“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 said in a statement today.
Enterprise is a full scale prototype space shuttle orbiter that carried out critical approach and landing tests in California in the late 1970’s, setting the stage for the first shuttle blast off in 1981.The orbiter is named after the famed “Starship” in the iconic TV series “Star Trek”.
Space Shuttle Enterprise is already piggybacked atop NASA’s modified Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC and awaits the GO command to take off for New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
As I wrote earlier, visitors to Dulles Airport can get an exquisite view of Enterprise strapped aboard the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) from the upper levels of the Daily Parking garage. Go see it in these few extra days before it departs forever.
Originally the ferry flight had been scheduled for Monday and then switched to Wednesday, April 25. But a powerful storm swept through the US East Coast over the weekend and continuing poor weather has further disrupted the flight plans.
NASA and the FAA are coordinating the flight which is expected to arrive and conduct a series of breathtaking low flyovers over and near various landmarks and historic sites in the New York City between 930 and 1130 a.m, including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum – her permanent final home and resting place. The exact route and timing depend on weather and operational constraints.
When the flyover is complete, the SCA will land at John F. Kennedy International Airport and more than 1500 dignitaries are expected to be on hand to welcome Enterprise to the Big Apple.
In the weeks following the arrival, Enterprise will be “demated” from the top of the 747 using a pair of heavy duty cranes and placed on a barge for a dramatic seagoing voyage and will be moved by tugboat up New York’s Hudson River to the Intrepid museum in June. The shuttle will be lifted and placed on the flight deck of the Intrepid, where it will be on exhibit to the public starting this summer in a temporary climate-controlled pavilion.
The Intrepid museum is constructing a permanent exhibit facility nearby to showcase Enterprise and the museum’s space-related exhibits and education curriculum.
Since 2003, Enterprise has been on public display at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Annex in Virginia.
Last week, Enterprise was replaced at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center by Space Shuttle Discovery in a prestigious welcome ceremony featuring Astronaut and Senator John Glenn, 1st American in Orbit.
Ken will be on hand for the history making Grand Arrival of a magnificent NASA Space Shuttle flying over the superlative Manhattan skyline. Feel free to send me your Enterprise photos to post at Universe Today.
Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight – www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter