Shuttle Enterprise goes on display today at NYC's Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

Enterprise, as viewed from the side. Although you cannot climb inside the vehicle, you can still get an amazing view all the way around it along, with informational panels encompassing each side of the pavillion. Photo: Sawyer Rosenstein.

New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum opens the doors on a new Space Shuttle Pavilion today. Its central tenant? The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-101). Starting today, you can visit the Pavillion and walk underneath and around the first space shuttle NASA built. The orbiter never actually went to space, but did perform important test flights in 1977, which paved the way for the shuttles that followed.

Young space expert Sawyer Rosenstein, who hosts and edits the Talking Space podcast, and is a consultant-to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, visited before the exhibit opened to the public. He shot these fantastic sneak-peek photos, and shares them with Boing Boing here (the captions are his observations).

Sawyer says:

Having seen the orbiter from concept, to piggyback, to craning, to finished, the Intrepid has come a long way, and they did a phenomenal job with it. Team Intrepid is absolutely amazing and they put together an amazing exhibit for an amazing vehicle, and have set up a way to continue teaching about the space program. As I said to one person at the event, "If you don't want to become an astronaut after seeing this, then you might need to get checked out."

Also: If you missed it before, be sure to read Sawyer's excellent guest feature, "Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon." Read the rest

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. Read the rest