April 23, 2012

Managers Defer Ferry Flight Decision Until Monday

Space Shuttle Program Transition and Retirement managers met Sunday afternoon to again evaluate the weather forecast for Space Shuttle Enterprise's Ferry Flight to New York City´s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The group, in conjunction with Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum officials, deferred setting a date for the Ferry Flight until Monday.

Managers will convene at 1 p.m. for the OV-101 Ferry Flight Readiness Review and again will evaluate the weather and system readiness to support the Ferry Flight. They are expected to formally set the date at the conclusion of the meeting.

The latest forecast indicates a low pressure system on the east coast will deliver low clouds and rain in both the Washington and New York areas, precluding the flight of NASA´s prototype shuttle until Wednesday at the earliest.

Enterprise was mated to the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) Saturday morning and covers were fitted over the shuttle's vent doors to prevent rain intrusion while the vehicle awaits its transfer from Dulles International Airport. The covers will be removed before flight.

Once the departure date and time is set, media will have access to the public areas at Dulles to view the departure of Enterprise. Media sending crews to Dulles should contact the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Office of Public Affairs at 703-417-8370.

After departing Washington, the SCA and Enterprise the aircraft are expected to fly near a variety of landmarks in the New York metropolitan area, including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. When the flyover is complete, the SCA will land at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Several weeks following the arrival, Enterprise will be "demated" from the 747 and placed on a barge that will be moved by tugboat up the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in June. The shuttle will be lifted by crane and placed on the flight deck of the Intrepid where it will be on exhibit to the public starting this summer in a temporary climate-controlled pavilion. The Intrepid continues work on a permanent exhibit facility to showcase Enterprise that will enhance the museum's space-related exhibits and education curriculum.

For more information about NASA's transfer of space shuttles to museums, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/transition