When the geniuses behind the Shuttle sat down to design it they probably never imagined seeing their engineering marvel slash extraterrestrial delivery truck parked on a United States Navy aircraft carrier in New York.
Fast-forward four decades, and that’s exactly where you’ll find the Enterprise, NASA’s first shuttle – or to give it it’s proper name, prototype orbiter.
This summer, Enterprise took up its new home in a purposely built pavilion located on the flight deck of the World War II carrier USS Intrepid, at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum situated at Pier 86 on Manhattan’s west side.
The accompanying exhibition charts the history behind the space shuttle and the space programme as a whole. Though Enterprise never flew into space, she still represents a huge milestone in scientific and technological endeavour.
A giant of US aeronautical history, she sits in suitably good company in her final resting place. Intrepid’s flight deck is also home to a number of esteemed military aircraft, including the majestic Cold War spy plane A-12 Blackbird.
Nicknamed “the Fighting I”, Intrepid is a notable vessel in her own right. Not only did she see action in World War II and the Vietnam War, but she was also instrumental in the recovery of early NASA spacecraft (Mercury and Gemini modules) on their return to earth in the first phases of NASA’s space programme.
You can also take a tour of the Growler submarine moored nearby climb aboard a retired Concorde famed for having the fastest passenger jet crossing of the Atlantic.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Image: Anthony Quintano)