back to article Shuttle Enterprise comes home to New York

It's not every day NASA does a flyby for us, but the El Reg space desk pulled a few strings with the Obama Administration to have Space Shuttle Enterprise do her final flight into New York harbor and up the Hudson River and down again on a chilly and cloudy morning right over the head of the New York bureau. Enterprise has …


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    1. Anonymous John

      No it didn't.

      It flew into Stansted Airport in 1983 though. Great photo op.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        That's Ryanair for you

        Book a flight to the moon and they take you to Standsted where you get on a coach...

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge


    Fond memories of it coming into the IAT at Fairford one year....

  2. Annihilator Silver badge

    To quote Homer

    "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" and punch the face of god...

    Looking forward to next trip to NYC to revisit Intrepid!

  3. Dalen

    Saw it from Battery Park. Too bad my phone cam chose that moment to malfunction.

    Well, that's one advantage of being gainfully unemployed - you have time to see cool stuff.

  4. Stevie


    My conference call with a vendor was destroyed by forty yahoos busrsting into my cube and deploying iPhones, all the time yodeling up a storm.

    "It's the Space Shuttle!" was a common, shouted refrain.

    Except, of course, it wasn't.

    The Flash Crowd In My Cube were apparently unaware that what they were actually seeing was an (un) space (non) shuttle glide-test prototype incapable of any sort of powered flight or re-entry, and far too heavy to be used for the real thing anyway. Mr Prickett Morgan couldn't possibly have seen this one launch because it wasn't possible for it to do so (though I got home early from work to watch this one make its first filmed landing in the days before NASA told anyone about the weight issue and like others thought this one *would* fly eventually).

    So congratulations New York! You got a second-hand pretend shuttle mock-up to display on the Intrepid. All the real shuttles are on display somewhere else.

    The Space Shuttle: The spaceship we cared about so much that we don't have them any more.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      The spaceship we cared about so much that we don't have them any more

      Yup, and Congress is so intent on destroying any post-Shuttle launch capability that it's refusing to fund commercial flight that actually has flyable hardware, and instead sending pork to Boeing who have an assload of Powerpoints and one vaguely Apollo-shaped mockup.

      Shuttle was nice, and I loved watching the launches (not so much the sonic booms at 3am) but it should have had at least a liquid reusable booster, and been replaced 15 years ago by something more advanced, using lessons learned. Now most of the folk that learned those lessons are now learning to say "would you like fries with that?"

      However, Enterprise was useful as hell in the ALT drop tests. It showed more than a few bugs in the flight software amongst other things we learned. It's not a mockup.

    2. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Jeez you must be a miserable nightmare to work with.

      Just to cheer you up, it was intended to be a flight-ready shuttle but just not the first. They carried on designing and building the first one (Columbia) while the ALT tests were being conducted by Enterprise - a rather necessary step given the timelines. The design changed significantly enough during this period that it just wasn't cost effective to retro-fit Enterprise with these design changes. I sense you're feeling betrayed/conned by NASA back in the 70's - it wasn't some big secret, just an evolution of space flight design.

      Congratulations New York - you got a rare piece of space flight history. Hopefully it'll slightly offset the miserable office workers who get irate about it.

  5. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Not sure why a shuttle ended up in New York city. Not a lot of space related activity there.

    Shuttles built in NYC? Nope.

    Shuttles flown from NYC? Nope.

    Shuttles landed in NYC? Nope.

    Mission Control in NYC? Nope.

    Big voting block in NYC for Obama this year? Yup!

    1. Levente Szileszky

      But it's just you...

      ... and not normal logic.

      HINT: they want people to see it... amazing, huh?

      Most populous city in the US? Yes.

      Most densely populated city in the US? Yes.

      4th most populous metropolitan area of the world? Yes.

      With 800+ languages the most diverse city in the world? Yes.

      Top travel destination of the world, with 50M+ visitors per year? Yes.

      Are all these silly questions seriously here solely due to the fact that someone was literally incapable to grasp even the most basic point of putting something on display (eg hoping for the biggest audience)? Yes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You sould like a Fellow Houstonian

      I guess you would be happy if the shuttles were retired to cities that already benefited disproportionately from our tax payers investment in NASA. The shuttle belongs in s city with real museums and a large population center. NY is as good a city as any for it. Houston, no.

    3. Dave Walker

      Wings built in NY (Long Island)

      The wings were made in the Grumman plant in Beth Page, Long Island, NY.

      It's all McMansions now, NYC is better resting place, but yes, hardly *coming home*.

      DX Philly

  6. Levente Szileszky

    Actually, no, it never really "slipped the surly bonds of Earth"...

    ...because it is the Enterprise, the early test prototype with NO HEAT SHIELD, used only for landing tests. :)

    Aye, we New Yorkers always end up with the leftover... ;)

  7. fixit_f
    Thumb Up

    If you're ever in NY....

    The USS Intrepid needs to be on your list of things to visit. So many cool aircraft are sat on that deck,

  8. Andus McCoatover

    I think some commentards are being unfair to Enterprise.

    If it hadn't been for the testing on that ship - a bridesmaid always, never to be a bride - the rest would never have happened.

  9. Andus McCoatover

    Interesting link...

    1. Dave the Cat

      Re: Interesting link...

      Interesting, thanks. This always made me chuckle:

  10. Andy Kay

    let me introduce you to TimThumb

    loading full size images into a reduced size box on the article = fail

  11. Sceptic Tank


    "Buzzing the Big Apple"... Can you still say that without having to pay royalties to the Fruit Co.?

    On an equally serious note: Why didn't El Reg by the craft to get LOHAN into orbit? Certainly seems like a more feasible plan than that flying pylon. Call it LOHAN's ASS - for Assisted Space Springboard or something – to help LOHAN along her intergalactic voyage.

  12. nordwars
    Thumb Up

    Looks a bit like an orca in immoral congress with a baleen whale, don't it?

    Yes, yes it does. Thanks for that!

  13. Nick Pettefar


    Seen that already, RAF Fairford, 1983. Took the afternoon off college in Swindon to go and see it. Amazing.

  14. Chris Mellor 1

    The USA's Concord

    The Space Shuttle now reminds me of the UK and France's Concord supersonic airliner; a piece of technology that represented a cul de sac, a dead end. They ended up there for different reasons and they each endured disasters, the Shuttle disasters being of epic proportions. They were both fantastic examples of flying technology and deserve to be remembered and marvelled at.

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