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Space Shuttle Enterprise makes final landing

By Leigh Remizowski, CNN
updated 5:50 PM EDT, Wed June 6, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Space Shuttle Enterprise is hoisted by crane into its new home
  • It will be on display at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
  • The Enterprise was a training vehicle; it never flew in space

New York (CNN) -- The Space Shuttle Enterprise made its final descent Wednesday, landing at its new home at New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Though it never traveled into outer space, the Enterprise did make its way from a Smithsonian Institution museum near Washington, above the New York skyline mounted atop a 747 jumbo jet, and up the Hudson River by barge to the museum where it will be displayed for the public.

On Wednesday, the shuttle was hoisted by crane and then lowered onto the flight deck of the Intrepid, the decommissioned U.S. aircraft carrier that has been transformed into a museum.

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As the shuttle moved through the waterways of Lower Manhattan, it made an appearance near the Statue of Liberty.

A wingtip of the shuttle was damaged slightly on Sunday during its transit from John F. Kennedy Airport to Weeks Marine in Jersey City, New Jersey, where it was held until Tuesday, according to a statement by Intrepid museum officials. It has since been repaired.

A barge carries the Space Shuttle Enterprise past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on Wednesday, June 6. The shuttle is on its way to the USS Intrepid Museum, where it will be on display aboard the former aircraft carrier. A barge carries the Space Shuttle Enterprise past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on Wednesday, June 6. The shuttle is on its way to the USS Intrepid Museum, where it will be on display aboard the former aircraft carrier.
Shuttle Enterprise in the Big Apple
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Photos: Enterprise in the Big Apple Photos: Enterprise in the Big Apple
Shuttle Enterprise makes final journey

The shuttle was on display at a Smithsonian Institution museum before being flown from Virginia's Dulles International Airport on April 27 and making its final flight to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Discovery -- the most traveled of the shuttles -- is replacing Enterprise in the Smithsonian facility.

Completed in 1976, Enterprise was designed as a prototype test vehicle. Test pilots demonstrated that it could fly and land in the atmosphere like airplanes, but the Enterprise never flew in space.

The shuttle was originally to be named the Constitution, but a write-in campaign by fans of the television series "Star Trek" persuaded officials to rename it in honor of the show's main starship.

NASA sent the shuttle on a tour of Europe and Canada in 1983, and it appeared at the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans. The craft made a brief return to service as a ground test vehicle in 1984 before retiring to the Smithsonian's collection in 1985.

NASA is preparing to fly Space Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles sometime in the second half of the year. The final remaining shuttle, Atlantis, is being readied for display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.

The other two shuttles in the NASA program, Challenger and Columbia, were destroyed in flight.

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