News / Science & Technology

First Space Shuttle Goes on Public Display

Space Shuttle Pavillion in New York, July 18, 2012
Space Shuttle Pavillion in New York, July 18, 2012
VOA News
Thursday marks the beginning of a new mission for the U.S. space shuttle Enterprise, as it goes on public display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.

The nation's first space shuttle is housed in an inflatable dome, suspended about 300 centimeters in the air above the deck of the refurbished World War II-era aircraft carrier, allowing visitors a chance to walk under underneath the huge vehicle, which boasts a 23-meter wingspan.

"The Enterprise allows us to really offer such a beauty and such a piece of NASA history to a region that never really had something like this before," said Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Intrepid Museum president.  "So they can come up close and personal. And, the way that we developed it, you can walk under it, you can walk and see really from the top view, or from the wing-level view. You can come nose-to-nose with the shuttle. So for our visitors, for our students, we're just excited to have what is a sexy platform, let's say, to make these studies enjoyable and have them understand how important it is."

Enterprise was built in 1976 as a test vehicle to demonstrate the spacecraft's ability to fly and land like an airplane, paving the way for the five shuttles that eventually flew into space during the shuttle's 30-year history.

"Actually I must say it's rare that you can get this close to a space shuttle, even when I was with flying and with NASA," noted former astronaut Marco Runco, Jr.  "[I] went down to the Kennedy Space Center, in the processing facilities, sometimes they wouldn't even let us get this close to them. So this is a treat. And I'm hoping that it's an inspiration for folks to connect with the history and the legacy and then take that history and legacy to new heights for the future."

Enterprise was flown to New York in April on top of a 747 jumbo jet, thrilling residents as it flew over the Manhattan skyline and past the Statue of Liberty on its way to John F. Kennedy's International Airport.  The shuttle was transported to the museum by barge last month.  

Enterprise was housed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. before it was moved to New York and replaced by the space shuttle Discovery.  The space shuttle Endeavour is now displayed at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, while space shuttle Atlantis is on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The other two space shuttles were destroyed during flight, Challenger in 1986, and Columbia in 2003.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs