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Hanging Out in a Bubble with the Space Shuttle 'Enterprise'

August 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM | by | ()

It seems like only yesterday that NASA's Space Shuttle Enterprise was flying around the city atop a 747, then being towed by barge and hitting a railroad bridge. Sigh. Now our baby's all grown up and nearly one month into her retirement. Well, she's not really our baby but that of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan.

$30 per adult ($28 if bought online) is the admission price to enter the Intrepid Museum and also the Space Shuttle; there is no just-Space-Shuttle ticket. So, what do you get for that? To find out, this past weekend we finally made it up and under the temperature-controlled tent the Enterprise calls hangar home.

What you'll get is the Shuttle, and that's about it. There's no interactive displays, other artifacts (can't we get a space suit up in here, yo?), and no way you'll be going inside the spacecraft. It's a look-but-don't-touch exhibit only, and that makes us sad. To be perfectly honest, there are a few nice things: a short movie that tells the story of the space shuttle program, a stairway to come close to the nose of the craft, but not touch it or even have a clear photo of it (thanks, scratched plexiglass), and a gift shop.

Granted, the Enterprise never did an official mission as it was mainly used for experimental flights, but that doesn't mean it should be stuck with a glorified tennis tent as a home. Maybe Houston could have given it what it really needs, which is a catwalk viewing platform to properly appreciate the scale of the craft from above (and snap even decent photos).

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]

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