Space Shuttle Expected to Land on Intrepid Wednesday

By Mathew Katz on June 5, 2012 6:04pm 

The shuttle Enterprise floats through New York Harbor on June 3.
The shuttle Enterprise floats through New York Harbor on June 3.
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Michael Nagle/Getty Images

CHELSEA — The Space Shuttle Enterprise is set to make its journey to its final frontier: the flight deck of the of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Starting Wednesday morning, the historic shuttle will float up the Hudson from Weeks Marine in New Jersey to the museum at West 46th Street and the Hudson. From there, it will be hoisted by crane onto the ship's flight deck.

If you're hoping to catch a glimpse of the ship as it drifts by, there are a few opportunities. It's set to pass the Statue of Liberty at 10:50 a.m., the World Trade Center at 11:30 a.m., and then head up the Hudson towards the Intrepid for a 12:30 p.m. arrival.

It's expected to take three hours to hoist the shuttle from a barge onto the Intrepid.

The prototype shuttle, which never flew in space and was used largely for test flights within Earth's atmosphere, will eventually find a permanent home at a new museum across from the Intrepid. It came to the city on the back of specially outfitted 747 in April.

The Enterprise is one of four shuttles being sent to various museums across the country. Three others that did make it into space will be housed in Florida, Los Angeles, and Virginia.

The shuttle has slowly made its way around the city on a barge since it left JFK Airport on Sunday. The final leg of the trip was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was delayed by weather. 

The shuttle hit a snag on June 3 when it collided with a navigation guide for a railroad bridge, causing minor cosmetic damage to the wing.

Of course, weather or tidal currents might not cooperate and the museum's staff are quick to say that the journey might be delayed yet again. Wednesday's forecast calls for a high of 72 degrees, but the possibility of showers later in the day.

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