MANHATTAN — The Space Shuttle Enterprise was separated from a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft in the early morning hours Sunday at John F. Kennedy Airport.
The move marks yet another stage of the decommissioned spacecraft's final journey to its retirement home, at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum next month.
The "demating" operation — which took over 10 hours to complete — was carried out by personnel from NASA and the United Space Alliance.
The technicians used two cranes, a lifting swing, and a wind restraint system to lift the Enterprise from the carrier aircraft and move it to Hangar 12, where it will be housed until June.
The Enterprise will then be loaded on a barge and floated to Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum before being lifted by cranes to the flight deck.
There it will be unveiled to the general public in a special climate-controlled pavilion July 19th.
The Intrepid Museum continues to work on a more permanent exhibition in hopes of showcasing the Enterprise as a star attraction among all the museum's new innovative and immersive experience.