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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Space Shuttle Enterprise On Its Last Journey

June 4, 2012
Image Credit: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com

Space shuttle Enterprise is making its way in its final resting place aboard a decommissioned aircraft carrier in New York City.

The shuttle left Kennedy Airport Sunday morning and was towed past thousands of spectators to Jersey City.

A spokeswoman for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum said the shuttle’s wingtip sustained light cosmetic damage during the trip, but no other damage was reported.

Enterprise will be taken to the Intrepid on Manhattan’s West Side on Tuesday, where a crane will lift it onto the flight deck.

The shuttle flew from Washington to New York on April 23, and stayed at the Kennedy Airport until Sunday, where it was moved to the top of a barge.

The barge is carrying Enterprise from the borough of Staten Island past the Brooklyn Bridge, lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

The space shuttle program was retired last year by the Obama administration in hopes of pushing future astronaut travel towards the commercial industry.

The administration envisions that nixing the 30-year-old space shuttle program will create a new industry for America to build its future space traveling on.

SpaceX, a commercial space company, just completed a successful mission to the International Space Station with its Dragon capsule, becoming the first company to dock with the station.

The company’s Dragon capsule could be the future of American astronaut travel. Since the shuttle program’s retirement, NASA has been relying on trips to Russia to send its astronauts to the orbiting outpost.

Discovery made its way to its final resting place back in April at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Space shuttle Atlantis will be decommissioned and put on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, while Endeavour will be hosted at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California in October 2012.


Source: Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com