Museum opens space shuttle to public

2012-07-19 11:32
The Space Shuttle Enterprise is parked at the Sea, Air and Space Museum's Space Shuttle Pavilion in New York. (Frank Franklin II, AP)

The Space Shuttle Enterprise is parked at the Sea, Air and Space Museum's Space Shuttle Pavilion in New York. (Frank Franklin II, AP)

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VIDEO: Shuttle final flight

2012-07-19 08:35

The space shuttle Enterprise makes one final flight in this YouTube video.WATCH

New York - A New York aerospace museum opened the space shuttle Enterprise to the public on Thursday.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum has installed the space shuttle on the runway of the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a museum facility docked at a pier on Manhattan's West Side.

Nasa administrator Charles Bolden and museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner presided over the exhibit's opening ceremony on Thursday, joined by three of Enterprise's original four pilots.

The ceremony launched the museum's five-day space festival, with exhibits and educational demonstrations to usher in its latest acquisition.

Nasa retired Enterprise, a prototype completed in 1976, from its nearly four-decade tenure as a test craft this year, after its flight over the Manhattan skyline, past the Statue of Liberty to New York's JFK airport in April.

In June, the craft was transported from the airport to the museum by barge.

During Enterprise's time in service, two space shuttles were destroyed - Space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch in 1986, and Columbia broke up upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere in 2003. Thirteen astronauts died in the tragedies.

Space shuttle Discovery was flown to Washington last April. Discovery is open to the public at a headquarters of the National Air and Space Museum in nearby Virginia.

Space shuttle Endeavour is now on view at the California Science Centre in Los Angeles, and space shuttle Atlantis is available at the Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando, Florida.
Read more on:    nasa  |  space

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