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Space Science

Up Close With the Enterprise Shuttle At the Intrepid Museum 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-the-museum dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As you probably remember, the Space Shuttle Enterprise was flown on the back of a 747 to New York City where it was then delivered to the USS Intrepid. As sad as it was to see a space shuttle retired (and NASA take a major step down in the space flight abilities) this was one of the most amazingly geektastic events in recent memory. Now the shuttle is on top of the aircraft carrier's flight deck, living in its very own pavilion. As of tomorrow it will go on display as part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, but today we got a sneak peek at the shuttle."
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Up Close With the Enterprise Shuttle At the Intrepid Museum

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  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @09:24PM (#40693427) Homepage Journal
    One thing I remember about the Intrepid was the fighter jets on the flight deck with shattered cockpits. Unfortunately, it's not been possible to date to keep vandals off of the ship. So, keep watching how they take care of the Shuttle. If there are problems, we really should start lobbying for a different home.
  • Seen it at Dulles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Robo1icious (1772516) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @09:27PM (#40693441)
    I worked at Dulles airport in the 80's when the Enterprise was just setting out in the woods at the back of the airport property. I remember walking up to it just so I could say I touched it. They had several other old planes setting back there at the time and if I recall correctly at least one of those are now at the Smithsonian. To bad we didn't have camera phones back then eh?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @09:38PM (#40693521)

    Enterprise was the name given to the ONLY shuttle who has NEVER flown into space. It is the name of the mock shuttle that was used for a few drop tests and immediately sent to the Smithsonian. It has never "retire" because it was never active. It is part of history, but not "space flight" history.

  • Fond memories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @10:17PM (#40693733)
    I remember when I was a kid and they were testing the Enterprise out near Edwards air base. Periodically we would see it fly (glide) over on its way to a test landing during recess ( I was like 6 or 7 years old). My father was a fighter pilot and took me out to an open house at the air base. I was a huge Star Trek fan and seeing a real life Enterprise space shuttle was pretty amazing. I even got to sit in the pilots seat and generally look around. In terms of geektastic childhoods it doesn't get much better than that.
  • Re:Seen it at Dulles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @11:22PM (#40694081)

    I worked at Dulles airport in the 80's when the Enterprise was just setting out in the woods at the back of the airport property.

    Air & Space at Dulles

    The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.

    The James S. McDonnell Space Hangar opened in November 2004 and displays hundreds of famous spacecraft, rockets, satellites and space-related small artifacts. The centerpiece of the space hangar is the Space Shuttle Discovery. Other space artifacts include the Gemini VII space capsule; the Mobile Quarantine Unit used upon the return of the Apollo 11 crew; and a Redstone rocket.

    Between the Discovery and the overlook is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet ever built.

    Other unique artifacts exhibited in the Boeing Aviation Hangar include:

    the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay.

    the Boeing 367-80 or Dash 80, the prototype 707, America's first jet airliner.

    the Aichi Seiran Japanese WWII bomber, the only remaining Seiran.

    the Boeing 307 Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud, the first airliner with a pressurized cabin.

    a Concorde supersonic airliner.

    National Air & Space Museum The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center [si.edu]

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <(fairwater) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday July 19, 2012 @12:35AM (#40694489) Homepage

    The "gray circles near the nose" are not windows that were painted over. They're inserts to block the nozzles for the RCS system (and thereby reduce drag for glide tests).

    Actually - you're both wrong. They're just indentations in the skin that are painted grey - to simulate RC nozzles since the Enterprise was not equipped with an RCS system.
     

    That "specially designed part in the back" is an aerodynamic faring used to reduce drag on the ferry flights and thus reduce fuel consumption in an already heavily burdened 747 carrier aircraft. They ALL have one of those that could have been fitted when called for.

    Not quite correct. While they were designed to accept the fairing, they didn't all have a fairing. IIRC there were only three built. One, unique, for Enterprise, and two operational fairings. (Trivia - the fairing could be broken down and carried internally onboard the SCA.)

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