Friday, June 22, 2012

Shuttle Enterprise's new home.

   On June 14th, 1974 construction began on what was designated OV-101, and was going to be named Constitution. They were planning on unveiling it  on Constitution Day on September 17th, 1976, the year of our bicentennial.
    This was changed thanks to a letter writing campaign by Trekkies, myself included, to President Gerald Ford asking that the ship be named for The Enterprise of Star Trek. He apparently liked the name, and though he didn't bring up the writing campaign, he did direct NASA to change the name to ENTERPRISE.
    Though she never made it into space, she was used for approach and landing tests. Refitting her for space flight turned out to not be a viable solution since there were major design changes during the construction of  Columbia. She was also considered for a refit after the Challenger disaster, but Endeavour was built instead from structural spares.
   The Enterprise now sits on the deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space museum, with her nose pointed out toward the Hudson river. She was lowered to the deck on June 6th, sustaining slight cosmetic damage to one wingtip.
    The have her covered in a white inflatable canopy to protect it from the elements, and also NASA demands a climate controlled environment for display.  
    She will be open for her first viewing during the spacefest for her grand opening from June 19th to 22nd.
In a few years they are planning on moving the Enterprise to a permanent home built for her as an extension of the museum. 
    I really have to get myself to see her. Frankly, we should all make sure we get there to see her, and the rest of the museum. 
     The link I put here, (which I know there's a simpler way I have to learn) will take you to the story of the intrepid complete with video of her being lowered on the deck, etc. Well worth the time to read and watch. 


No comments: