Repaired Space Shuttle Enterprise to set Sail on Final Voyage

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Enterprise, post boo-boo and postponed a day by rainy weather, should arrive at the Intrepid today !

The final leg of the final voyage of Space Shuttle Enterprise is due to conclude on Wednesday, June 6 with a journey by barge up the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side to her permanent new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

And it can’t come soon enough. As might be expected, Barge rides for Space Shuttles can be both visually stunning and downright perilous.

And for the initial seagoing leg of Enterprise’s journey on Sunday, June 3, it was a mixture of both – mostly thrilling (as I can attest) plus a few bad moments

During Sunday’s transit of Enterprise across the New York skyline, the shuttle suffered some minor damage to the wing tip (see photo above) soon after she set sail.

According to collectSpace.com, Enterprise grazed a New York railroad bridge when wind gusts caused the shuttle loaded aboard the Weeks Marine barge to veer off course.

“Mother nature did not smile on us. Just as the barge entered the railroad bridge, the wind caught it and pushed the right wing into the bridge abutment. Fortunately, the damage seems to be cosmetic, limited to the foam that covered the wingtip. No structure or mechanisms appear to have been damaged,” wrote Dennis Jenkins who was aboard the barge with Enterprise.

Winds gusts caused Space Shuttle Enterprise to grazed a bridge and suffer minor damage to a wingtip on June 3, during the initial stages of her seagoing journey on a Weeks marine barge to her new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Credit: Ken Kremer

The remainder of the voyage went off without a hitch and was enjoyed by throngs of onlookers including myself.

I caught some shots of the damage late in the day as the crew from Weeks Marine was towing Enterprise into port for the night.
Workers have already repaired Enterprise, the Intrepid said in a statement.

On Wednesday morning, Enterprise is due to set sail atop a barge from Bayonne, New Jersey from where she docked on Sunday, June 3 on the initial leg of her seagoing journey to her permanent new home.

Enterprise is scheduled to depart from Bayonne at 10:15 am and then make her way North passing the Statue of Liberty at approximately 10:52 am and Ground Zero at about 11:30 am says the Intrepid. She will reach the Museum at around 12:30 pm and be hoisted onto the flight deck later in the day – all of which is weather permitting.

On July 19, Enterprise will be opened to public viewing

Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

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

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