Perched atop a modified 747 jumbo jet, the Space Shuttle Enterprise greeted the Big Apple by zooming past the Statue of Liberty and flying along the Hudson River.
Hundreds of space shuttle fans braved the chilly temperatures and biting wind Friday morning (April 27) along the Hudson River here to catch a glimpse of NASA's prototype orbiter as it flew past the museum it will soon call home.Skip to next paragraph
Enterprise, the agency's original test shuttle,?flew to New York today?from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., atop a modified Boeing 747 jet. Before landing at New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, the piggybacking duo flew over the Statue of Liberty, then followed the Hudson River past the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where it will soon be placed on public display.
The shuttle flyover attracted fans of all ages, who gathered around the Intrepid museum and Pier 86 on Manhattan's west side to witness the historic event.
"How often do you get to see something like this ? a shuttle on piggyback coming down the Hudson River?" said Kenneth Irvin, who came with his wife, Ceil, from Long Island. [Photos: Final Voyage of Space Shuttle Enterprise]
As?Enterprise?and its chaperone flew overhead, the crowd, which was made up of men, women and children of all ages, erupted into cheers and applause.
"It was absolutely amazing to see it like that," Adam Schechter said shortly after Enterprise's first pass. Schechter carried his young son, Harry, and spoke energetically about his experiences with the space shuttles, including seeing the STS-97 launch of the shuttle Endeavour in November 2000.
"It was amazing, and the loudest thing I ever heard in my life," Schechter told SPACE.com.
He also recounted a visit he and his son took to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., where Enterprise had previously been on display since 2003.