Space Shuttle Enterprise Affected By Super Storm Sandy
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The nose of the retired shuttle was exposed after the “Frankenstorm” ripped through the Northeast Monday night.
Enterprise is typically enclosed in the Space Shuttle Pavilion at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York.
Twitter blew up with users uploading pictures of the shuttle’s climate-controlled nylon bubble ripped up, exposing the decommissioned spacecraft to the weather elements.
So far, it hasn’t been confirmed whether the shuttle was damaged during the storm, but the New York City Aviation did tweet that the spacecraft “lost a chunk of its vertical stabilizer.”
“The rise in the Hudson River due to Hurricane Sandy caused flooding and damage to Pier 86. The pier was designed to withstand the 100 year storm,” Susan Marenoff-Zausner, President, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, said in a statement. “However, the unprecedented levels of water flooded the main electrical transformers and both of our backup generators.”
She said that power issues caused the Space Shuttle Pavilion to deflate, and that they are currently assessing the situation.
“The safety of our employees is most important, and when our teams are able to safely work on site, we will begin to rebuild the areas of our complex that have been affected,” Marenoff-Zausner said in the release. “We are eager to reopen our doors to the public, but as of now, the Museum will be closed until further notice.”
Enterprise never was in space, but instead was a prototype for the actual space shuttles. NASA used it for the approach and landing tests. Astronauts would take turns landing the 150,000 pound spacecraft.