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The new enclosure, in progress
It opened to the public on July 19, 2012. It closed only a few months after, in late October, when Hurricane Sandy swept through New York City and, well, huffed and puffed and blew its house down. We're speaking of the Space Shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid aircraft carrier, of course, and the latest image showing progress on the reconstruction of the exhibit hints at exciting things to come.
Compare the construction of the new structure (above) to the old tent-like one (below). First observation? It's not a tent! Hallelujah, break out the champagne because now the exhibit may actually have a chance of surviving the next huge storm to hit NYC (knock on wood). Secondly, we notice increased space. Perhaps the single staircase to view the nose of the shuttle (through scratched plexi glass, mind you) will mercifully be replaced by an actual viewing platform? And perhaps it won't all feel like some temproary, low-budget exhibition, which is definitely is not.
So they’re not exactly launching any space shuttles out of Florida anytime soon, but the Kennedy Space Center is still plenty busy these days. In fact they’ve got so much going on that they’d love to have you swing by and check things out for yourself.
The next piece of space stuff departing earth is the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and if things stay on schedule—and the weather cooperates—it’ll blast off on Friday, March 1. Those heading over to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex can score a front row seat for the event, with viewing right along the NASA Causeway.
If you’re looking to set a reminder on your phone, it’s all scheduled to go
down up at 10:10am EST from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Space Shuttle / Enterprise / → All Tags
Commercial airplanes may have escaped damage from Hurricane Sandy by canceling flights early enough on Sunday and Monday to get themselves off the east coast tarmacs to safer (and mostly warmer) climes, but one bird that's no longer able to fly sat scarily exposed on the deck of the Intrepid Museum aircraft carrier, floating in the Hudson River at Manhattan's west side docks.
She's the NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise, and though Sandy seems to have spared her dock-neighbor, the British Airways Concorde G-BOAD, the spacecraft didn't fare so nicely.
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If you missed the move of the Space Shuttles to their new homes in New York City and Los Angeles—don’t worry—there’s still one more NASA orbiter that has yet to reach its final resting place This time the transportation is taking place in Florida and not too far from where the astronauts and crew did their thing for decades. That means that there will be no piggyback-plane flyover, but at least you’ll have the chance to pay your respects to one of the country’s remnants of NASA space travel technology.
This time it’s the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and it's scheduled to head over to Kennedy Space Center on November 2. It only needs to travel around 10 miles or so to park and ready a new $100 million exhibit, but much of the path is through restricted areas and other limited access places.
That means you’re going to need to buy your way along the route and the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex will be happy to sell you some tickets for exactly that.
This last Saturday, the Space Shuttle Endeavour caused a little Los Angesles gridlock of its very own, traveling on the Over Land Transporter (OLT) for 12 miles through the city in order to reach its new home at the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion. No surprise that it was 10 hours late.
Endeavour, built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger, completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles. The public will be able to visit the Shuttle at the CSC beginning October 30. For more images of Endeavour both on the LA streets and during her fly days, check out the Endeavour Flickr Group.
It also shouldn't come as any surprise that NASA themselves scored the best images from the entire drive, posting them to their Flickr. Hey, NASA may not have flying Space Shuttles anymore, but they do have a killer Flickr stream! From the NASA shots and a few others, we chose 10 images you just have to see:
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Houston, Texas isn't in the best mood today. After all, around sunrise this morning "Space City" lost what it should have kept: the NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, which departed for the last time from Houston's Ellington Field, en route to its final resting place in Los Angeles. The Endeavour first hit the sky in 1992, flying 25 times, with 123 million miles in space and 4,700 circles around Earth.
It won't be a direct flight to LA for the Endeavour, atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier plane; it's booked to stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, before heading to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. Then, tomorrow, the journey in the skies completes at LAX Airport before the shuttle takes to the streets in October.
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Enterprise, not Endeavour, atop NASA's 747
September 20. Mark that in your iCal for your next chance at NASA shuttle-spotting as the Endeavour mounts NASA's specially configured Boeing 747 for the cross-country trip to the shuttle's final resting place in Los Angeles.
We've already filled you in on what's going down for the parade through the streets of LA on October 12, but Cape Canaveral isn't about to let the opportunity for extra cash pass by almost two weeks earlier.
Whereas standing street-side will be free in LA, Florida's Space Coast is selling tickets for a viewing of the flyaway, and they're not cheap...
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The Enterprise lands at JFK
We know, we know. Just as New York City got its breath back back hyperventilating over the arrival of the Enterprise Space Shuttle, Los Angeles is all set to steal the thunder with their very own Shuttle arrival.
If the weather is good, expect the Space Shuttle Endeavour to land on the back of a NASA Boeing 747 (a bit like this) at LAX on September 20. Plane your plane spotting now!
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In case you haven’t noticed, the Space Shuttle hasn’t exactly been doing its thing lately. The NASA program was sent to the hangar back in 2011, and some of those spacecraft have been sent elsewhere to become part of museum exhibits. Sure, it’s a little sad for fans of the space program as they wait for the next big thing to come along, however; the lack of a shuttle program does have some positives, like making certain previously restricted bits and pieces of Kennedy Space Center open to the public.
The Launch Pad Tour is now open, as visitors will get to take in the sights—and imagine the sounds—of Launch Pad 39-A. This is where pretty much all of the recent NASA missions have written entries into history, beginning with the Apollo trips to the moon and ending with almost each and every shuttle launch.
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The Space Shuttle is on the move during its retirement, and most recently one of the shuttles hitched a ride atop a modified Boeing 747 to be delivered to Washington, DC. Before its delivery, the piggybacked plane with the shuttle on top did some fancy flying around the nation’s capital, with dips and dives through the city and near some pretty famous monuments. Well now it’s New York’s turn to get its very own shuttle, but unfortunately even NASA and the Space Shuttle aren't immune to weather and airport delays in New York.
Today was supposed to be the day for Enterprise, but it looks like today’s rainy and windy weather will postpone things. We’ve been there before, so we feel for the pilots and crew transporting the shuttle from Washington, DC up to the Big Apple. At least they won’t be stuck at the airport watching the satellite weather feed with spotty WiFi and limited seating.
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NASA may have hosted a massive tweet-up at Kennedy Space Center today for the final launch of the Endeavour Space Shuttle, but, as we've seen before, the real magic is in the skies as passengers onboard nearby aircraft snap photos of the launch and share them almost immediately on Twitter.
User Stefanie Gordon (@stefmara) admitted to having the perfect flight earlier today, going from New York-LaGuardia to Palm Beach onboard Delta with a row of seats to herself and this awesome view out the window. With her iPhone, she captured these two photos, plus a video you can watch here.
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Sometimes, thinking about the vastness of outer space and Earth's attempts to explore the most infinitesimal pinch of it via assorted space programs leaves our mind reeling and frankly, we get a little freaked out at the vast unknown surround us. We've pretty much accepted that man won't be walking on Mars in our lifetime, or maybe even on the moon again, but at least there's the rare chance that we could at least witness a Space Shuttle launch from the skies.
This is exactly the awesome chance a recent passenger had, while on a flight to Orlando. Eye-to-eye with the Space Shuttle Discovery for a moment at 30,000, as the shuttle blasted off for its final mission to the International Space Station, he captured the moment on camera, slapped it on YouTube and it's become an instant classic. You can watch it above, but we highly recommend clicking the link and viewing it larger for full, awe-inspiring effect.