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NASA Space Science

Hurricane Sandy Damages Space Shuttle Enterprise 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the space-wind dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "The now decommissioned Space Shuttle Enterprise appears to have been damaged by super storm Sandy, as it blew through New York City. The shuttle is currently on display on the deck of the USS Intrepid, as part of the Sea, Air, and Space museum on pier 86. The storm tore through the shuttle's inflatable pavilion which housed it, leaving a deflated mess over the space craft. It appears that the pavilion has damaged the vertical stabilizer on the tail of the craft. The museum has yet to comment on the situation. This is not the first time the Enterprise has been damaged however. As it was being towed through Jamaica Bay en route to its new home in Manhattan, the barge was hit by wind and forced the spacecraft's wingtip into a railroad bridge pylon ."
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Hurricane Sandy Damages Space Shuttle Enterprise

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:17AM (#41839865)

    That would be dangerous !!

  • Oh my... (Score:5, Funny)

    by cffrost (885375) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:25AM (#41839903) Homepage

    After this, I bet she'll never fly again. ;o(

  • by schwep (173358)

    that's why we can't have nice things.

    • by rikkards (98006)

      Seriously, the idea behind a museum is to allow people to see things but at the same time to preserve them. A carrier deck is not exactly the best place for it.

      • To be fair, they're building a new facility to house her, off the deck of the carrier. I don't believe it's going to be ready until springtime, so they had assuming, based on past performance, that they'd be able to protect her from the weather within the confines of the inflatable structure. They're actually pretty strong, but even the best made bubble wasn't holding up to that storm. Hopefully they're able to repair her tail and get the final structure completed quickly.

        • A couple extra guy wires might have helped.

          • Not likely. While the bubbles do have an internal structure to them, it's not rigid, and only designed to provide a small amount of additional strength. They're really held up by internal air pressure, and it's likely that the bubble was punctured by debris, thus letting the pressure escape and collapsing the bubble. The only way that guy wires would have helped is if the enclosure was a tent, rather than a bubble. If it was a tent, the fabric would be secured to structural elements, most likely aluminu

      • A carrier deck at the edge of a 2000 mile wide open ocean well known for 10-15 hurricanes every year.

      • by khallow (566160)

        A carrier deck is not exactly the best place for it.

        But it really doesn't get much better than that on Earth.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @07:02AM (#41840313) Journal

    A piece of FOAM can rip through the wing, killing everyone on board and completely destroying the shuttle.

    A piece of inflatable vinyl tarp can damage the vertical stab by simply falling onto it.

    Damn... I'd hate to see what would happen if someone scowled at it harshly.

    • by tusam (1851540)

      Obviously it's not made to be hit, it's made to handle thousands of degrees of heat while travelling at Mach 25 while keeping the puny mammals inside relatively safe.
      Let's see anything that can take hits from bridge pylons and storms do that.

      • by acoustix (123925)

        Let's see anything that can take hits from bridge pylons and storms do that.

        Well technically the bridge pylon didn't hit the shuttle. The shuttle hit the bridge.

    • by Sketchly (1354369)
      Obviously Darth Vader never had a hand in the design. I can't imagine the Death Star being totally fucked up by a collapsing tent.
  • by A10Mechanic (1056868) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @08:14AM (#41840663)
    Plenty of letters left in the alphabet...
    • They've already doubled up on some letters. E.g. Challenger and Columbia or Enterprise and Endeavour. As such, I don't think that the number of remaining letters is a very useful consideration. Instead, look at the budget, the desire, and the politics. They'll clearly show you that another shuttle will not be coming anytime soon.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        He meant Enterprise-A, Enterprise-B, etc.

  • "The now decommissioned Space Shuttle Enterprise appears to have been damaged by super storm Sandy"

    Enterprise sat in the Udvar-Hazy center for almost 20 years before being sent to NYC. I don't know when it was officially decommissioned, but it has been effectively so for some time as NASA handed it over to the Smithsonian in 1985.

    Enterprise was never a space shuttle. It was a glider/test platform that was going to be refitted to be a space shuttle. But that was more expensive than building Endeavour. Enterprise never had engines, and it was covered in fiberglass, not thermal tiles. In the end it was che

    • Enterprise was never a space shuttle. It was a glider/test platform that was going to be refitted to be a space shuttle. But that was more expensive than building Endeavour. Enterprise never had engines, and it was covered in fiberglass, not thermal tiles. In the end it was cheaper to build Endeavour from spare parts.

      Nit, because refitting Enterprise proved more expensive* than planned, STA-099 was refitted instead and became OV-99 Challenger. Endeavour was assembled from structural spares to replace Chal

  • Yes she just moved to a new home, but Enterprise has been a museum piece for over 25 years.
  • Not like anyone should have taken down such a wind prone structure.. Idiots!!!
  • NYC didn't deserve to have a shuttle in the first place. The Enterprise should have gone to Houston.

  • The carrier rather than the orbiter is reported to be decommissioned. Next three years will be to remove nuclear reactor and related items, then the vessel will be chopped and sold for scrap. I'd not be surprised if there is a group leading an effort to preserve this first nuclear aircraft carrier. I can see it now, William Shatner hired to promotions for fundraising, "I was the first commander of this ship!" Yeah, I know he's an actor, not a Navy officer (but some of his fans will say, "Of course he did, h

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