After rainy weather delayed the flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise for the past two days to the New York area, the spacecraft, piggy-backed on a specially outfitted Boeing 747, made two flights up the Hudson River and back on Friday morning between 10:30 and 11 a.m.
Crowds of spectators lined the west bank of the Hudson from Bayonne to Weehawken holding cameras and cell phones aloft into the bright sunny sky to capture the historic moment.
The shuttle was supposed to arrive Monday, then Wednesday, but was held up due to bad weather.
But Friday morning the spacecraft atop the 747 took off from Dulles International Airport near Washington, headed for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
The aircraft will flew near a variety of landmarks, including the State of Liberty.
Actually, this Enterprise, named after the spacecraft in the ‘Star Trek’ films, never flew in outer space. It is a test orbiter, used to verify orbiter aerodynamics and handling characteristics in preparation for the flights that began with the space shuttle Columbia.
In June the shuttle heads to its new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum this summer in Manhattan, by a less dramatic conveyance, on a barge upriver.
The Enterprise will be hoisted to the deck of the Intrepid, where it will become part of the museum’s permanent exhibit.