Space Shuttle Enterprise floats to a new home: New York's Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum (photos)

Photo: C.S. MUNCY

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) floated to its "retirement home" today, Wednesday June 6, 2012: the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. The museum's Space Shuttle Pavillion will open on July 19. The arrival of Enterprise was planned for 24 hours earlier, but weather delayed. During its voyage by water, the barge carrying Enterprise moved too close to the Jamaica Bay Bridge and clipped the Shuttle's wing. Ouch. But, you know: sadly, it's not like they're gonna need that wing for space travel now.

Special thanks to photographer C.S. Muncy, who is pretty intrepid himself—we understand these terrific shots cost him quite a sunburn.

Photo: C.S. MUNCY

Photo: C.S. MUNCY


  1. Thanks for sharing the pictures.  Kids of all ages (me too!) will love seeing the Enterprise in person.  

    -Vincent |

  2. For the record, they never needed that particular wing for space travel to begin with.  Enterprise was a prototype built only for testing in-atmosphere gliding.  It never had engines or heat shield.

    1. Challenger was built as a structural test article, never to be flown.  Enterprise was to be refitted for orbital flight after the glide and vibration tests.

      But some late design changes during construction of Columbia meant that refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the country.  It was less costly to build a  flight-ready Shuttle around Challenger’s hull instead.

  3. What an iconic picture showing the Space Shuttle, the most advanced vehicle yet built by man, floating on a barge, a vehicle relatively unchanged in thousands of years. Beyond steampunk, more like stonepunk.

  4. Totally sucks that Rocket Park at the Johnson Space Center is not getting a shuttle. I blame Senator Cornyn. He didn’t back this because local US rep Democrats wanted it. His support would have gotten us a shuttle, but Cornyn had to punish us for electing Democrats even though the Texas GOP  had already punished Houston by redistricting the hell out of our mostly liberal local majority. Same thing has happened in Austin. Lamar Smith’s mostly rural district includes little chunks from the edges of San Antonio and Austin, to dilute the urban progressive vote.

    Fuck, we trained everyone who ever went up in a shuttle and we don’t get a shuttle because our senator won’t back us up because we still manage to elect a couple of liberals to Congress in spite of having our districts destroyed?

    Fucking hell, my state became the joke state it is when nobody everything handed to him W managed to defeat popular Ann Richards back in 94. How did a piece of shit drugwhore who had two energy companies bought for him to ruin and got him a baseball team as a playtoy defeat someone who had worked her way up through the ranks and had been a pretty good governor?

    I trace the decline of America to this gubernatorial election. To the rest of the US, I am sorry we let this happen to you.

    AND WHY IS THERE NO SHUTTLE IN ROCKET PARK IN HOUSTON? It’s because we are naughty and our Senators will not support us. Naughty naughty urban people electing a gay mayor. We wiped out one of your districts. We denied you a shuttle. What do we have to do?

  5. During each of these retirement procedures, I keep expecting –nay, hoping for– the Cylons to attack so the old birds can be pressed into service once again…

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