Shuttle Enterprise To Buzz Manhattan Next Week + USS Enterprise Carrier Deployed On Final Mission

The Enterprise is about to buzz Manhattan – the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Next Monday the shuttle named by Star Trek fans moves from Washington DC to its new home in New York and on its way it will be making a low pass over the city. More details on the new home of Shuttle Enterprise and an update on the final voyage of the Navy’s USS Enterprise. 


Shuttle Enterprise To Buzz Manhattan On Move To New Home

Since 1976 when Trekkies successfully lobbied President Gerald Ford to name the first Spce Shuttle "Enterprise," the craft has had a special place in the heart of fans. Shuttle Enterprise spent the next decade doing flight testing (never going into space) and then went on an international good will tour, finally ending up at the Smithsonian in 1985. 

Star Trek cast at rollout of Shuttle event in 1976

Now that the Shuttle program is over, Shuttle Discovery (the most traveled orbiter) will be taken Enterprise’s place at the Smithsonian, so Enterprise is going on the move again. The orbiter’s next stop is New York City, where it will be displayed at the Intrepid Museum. The orbiter will be displayed on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid this summer, and eventually be moved to a special exhibition center close to the ship.

A conceptual rendering of how Space Shuttle Enterprise will be displayed on Intrepid’s flight deck, beginning Summer 2012

Possible design concept for new exhibition center with Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) as its centerpiece

The first step of Enterprise’s journey to New York will be a flight to the Big Apple on April 23rd, flying from Dulles Airport to JFK atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). And NASA just announced that the SCA 747 will be doing a low-level fly over New York. The flight is scheduled for 9:30 to 11:30 AM on Monday. To give you an idea of what to expect, check out this video from this morning of Shuttle Discovery flying over Washington DC on its way to the Smithsonian.   

Carrier Enterprise On Final Deployment

Another Enterprise is also rapidly approaching a major milestone. The US Navy’s carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) has recently been deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, joining the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. It isn’t known exactly when the ship will return to port, but it is certain that that this will be The Big E’s last mission.

USS Enterprise (CVN 65) transits the Suez Canal (April 4, 2012)

Commissioned in 1961 and the first nuclear powered carrier, the Enterprise is currently the oldest active duty ship in the US Navy. And the Navy has slated the ship to be decommissioned in 2013. There have been calls for the ship to be turned into a museum, but due to the nuclear nature this has been deemed impractical. The ship will be turned into scrap in 2015 after it is deactivated and de-fueled at Newport News Shipyard in Virginia. However, was reported that the Navy may consider preserving the ships island as a memorial.

The Navy is currently developing a new class of carrier with the first ship (The USS Gerald R. Ford) planned for 2015. That will be followed by the USS John F. Kennedy in 2018. A third carrier (CVN-80) planned for the next decade has yet to be named. While that ship is set to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, there are a couple of online petitions to get it named Enterprise.  

Artists rendition of Gerald Ford class carrier – could this be the next USS Enterprise?

TrekMovie will be keeping track of the two Enterprise’s as they make their final journey’s in 2012.



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Maybe they could call the next one really,really expensive.

Our pal AJ lives in New York (near the Hudson River) and is going to personally witness the low pass of this historic flight.

Maybe Anthony should get him to file a report?

The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was also in Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home :) . Nuclear Wessel !

Actually, No, CVN65 WAS NOT in ST4.

She was at sea at the time and Ranger stood in.

I think quotes from generations and undiscovered country suit the occasion.

Riker: I always thought I’d get a shot at this chair one day.

Picard: Perhaps you still will… somehow I doubt this will be the last ship to carry the name ‘Enterprise’.

Uhura: Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We’re to put back to Spacedock immediately…to be decommissioned.

Spock: If I were human, I believe my response would be…go to Hell. If I were human.

Chekov: Course heading, Captain?

Kirk: Second star to the right… and straight on till morning.

William Shatner voice:

These are the continuing voyages of the aircraft carrier enterprise.
It’s ongoing mission to serve the US Navy and it’s military during peace and wartimes.
To provide aid and ambassadorship to different regions and countries.
To boldly go where no sea fairing vessel has gone before…

I still don’t get why New York gets a shuttle, while Texas, home to Mission Control, does not.

Politics, of course. But still …

6) I agree with you, Florida, and California make sense as does the smithsonian. But New York Makes no sense at all, Texas definately should have gotten the 4th shuttle
New York has had no connection to the SHuttle program or Nasa at all.
Houston should have gotten the Enterprise, its even worse when you consider how close the enterprise and discovery are apart, where as the closest shuttles to huston are on opposite coasts

I will definately be making quite a few visits to see the envdevor here in L.A.

Can i just make a note that before people start going all water eyed over the CVN-65 and contrary to the lovely quote from #5; This is a ship of war, not a ship of peace.

A ship of war that during the cold war helped keep the peace.

So they are sending a ship that is due to be scuttled to the Persian Gulf. Call me paranoid but wouldn’t that be a good opportunity to do another Pearl Harbour or 9/11? A pre-cursor to war?

@10. Jim,

The “one last mission” scenario tends not to end well in the movies! Let’s hope reality is more kind to the brave men and women serving aboard her.

Always loved that class photo of the gang.
It could be subtitled: Where No Liesure Suit Has Gone Before.

Also love De’s groovy love beads.

War with Iran? One sequel too many.

As a retired naval officer and former Enterprise crew member I find it ridiculous whenever I see someone saying they’re sending that ship to the Gulf so it can be sunk. The reason it’s going on this deployment is that they spent so much money on it in the shipyard to get it ready for its las deployment that they tacked on another deployment to justify the cost. The service that ship has given the country and the number of American’s who’ve served on her will most likely be overlooked by the media as she heads to decomm.

I personally an very happy that the Enterprise space shuttle is going to New York City. The incredible number of tourists, both national and international, that visit that city will give representation of the nobility of space exploration to a vast number of people across a wide demographic.

The USS Intrepid museum is the most visited museum ship in the country. They figured that more people would be able to see it and visit it in New York then anywhere else. I mean really, who goes on vacation to Houston?

The USS Intrepid museum is the most visited museum ship in the country. They figured that more people would be able to see it and visit it in New York then anywhere else. I mean really, who goes on vacation to Houston?

Kennedy Space Center has a full size shuttle mock-up outside. Maybe they can send that to Houston. I agree that Houston deserves a real shuttle but the reality is as Andy points out, it’s New York City.

Godspeed, CVN 65 Enterprise!

Enterprise should have been sent to Houston Space Center. NY does not deserve to have a shuttle. Having lived in NY, the Intrepid Museum sucks. There is a better Museum on Long Island called the Cradle of Aviation.

I hope that the CVN 65 is not the last ship to bear the name Enterprise. I will sign the online petitions, but it looks like all the other carriers are named after people. The Enterprise was the only carrier that was not named after a president or military person. And it looks like it will be the last.

This sucks. I guess I will have to hope that the next generation of manned space vehicles will have one named Enterprise.

Looking forward to seeing this. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Intrepid museum and this will make it very worth the visit.



“NY does not deserve to have a shuttle.”

I’m from New York. You’re right. We do not deserve to have a shuttle. We deserve to have all the shuttles. And the aircraft carrier, to boot. ;-)

I am from NY, live on the west side as well as work on 8th ave in midtown with a full view of the flight route. Can’t wait!!

“Affirmative, Enterprise. Enjoy the ride and welcome home….”


18 – I saw Trek 09 at the ‘Cradle of Aviation’… and no, it does not get a Space Shuttle… lol.

24. By ‘home’, I mean her new home in NY, of course….

Houston has all the shuttle simulators used in astronaut training as well as the OV-095 shuttle aviation integration laboratory, which is a working electronic duplicate of a space shuttle laid out like a vehicle but fully exposed for troubleshooting so operations in flight can be duplicated on the ground. Pretty cool, right? But apparently all that stuff is going to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Houston can be happy with their Saturn V. That’s bigger, rarer, and more significant than a space shuttle. However, Houston’s Saturn V was displayed without any protection for decades and severely deteriorated before a restoration effort was made. I’d say that was a factor in the shuttle decision except the Intrepid museum also has problems. The Concorde SST they have was supposed to be put in a protective enclosure, just as the shuttle Enterprise is required to be, but the enclosure never materialized. NASA was obviously aware of this so the Intrepid people must have said they really will get it done this time.

An interesting fact about the shuttle Enterprise’s ferry flight is that it’ll be the first time it’s left the ground and been required to have any aerodynamic or structural performance in 27 years.

Another thing to watch for is panicky New Yorkers. People freaked out when one of the presidential aircraft was given permission to buzz the city for a photo op in 2009. Because, you know, terrorists hijacking Air Force One or making a fake Air Force One is a completely plausible scenario, right? The Discovery ferry flight was allowed to violate the DC area’s no-fly zones so presumably the Enterprise will be flying where no plane has gone before (lately) as well. Let’s see how many New Yorkers think it’s a terrorist space shuttle. It could be the mirror universe Enterprise! The black tiles on the nose sort of look like a goatee!

I’m very excited because my office is right in the approach flight path to JFK, and right on the water, so when they bring the shuttle by barge to the Intrepid, it’ll go right by my office window. (A few years ago when they were doing renovations, I saw the barge bring the Concorde back.)

I was personally hoping that the Enterprise (or at least one of the orbiters) would have ended up at Wright Patterson AFB (Because its closest to me) but as long as those orbiters are going to be seen by the public, im all for it, wherever they are. I will just have to plan another visit to the Intrepid to see the Enterprise.

As for the USS Enterprise CVN-65, I know that she is a ship of war but she functioned for many many years as a ship keeping the peace. As I recall, all incarnations of the NCC-1701 have “fired phasers and loaded torpedos” on numerous occasions. I hope that she is given a proper sendoff to honor her service and, of course, to honor all of the men and women that served aboard her. I also hope that there will be another Enterprise serving our country soon!!

I always found it a bit odd that William Shatner never came to the rollout of space shuttle Enterprise, whereas Leonard Nimoy did. At the time, Mr. Nimoy was perceived as trying to distance himself from Spock, due to the publication in 1975 of “I Am Not Spock.” We know now that wasn’t true; he embraced the character both then and now. I don’t know what Shatner was doing that prevented him from attending. Does anyone? And, check out the late Jimmy Doohan’s beard in the pic. No. 12’s comments about leisure suits amused me. My dad wore a leisure suit to my college graduation back in May, 1976. I’ll bet he kept that thing for years.


Actually, the US Navy has had a number of aircraft carriers in the past that were not named after a “president or military person” – the previous USS Enterprise (CV-6) comes to mind, but there have been many others – US Navy ship naming conventions tend to change over time. For example, our submarines used to be named after various species of fish but now they are named for cities and states. After CVN-65 is decommissioned, we may go a few years without an Enterprise in the fleet but I’m sure there will eventually be another one.

Personally, I wish CVN-65 was going to be a museum ship.

17 – That’s exactly what’s going on. They’ve already moved Explorer from the KSCVC and will be transporting it to JSC via a barge here in the immediate future for display.

No one goes to New York to see a space shuttle next to a strip club, Houston should have got Enterprise!

@31 Thanks for the reminder, Brandon! I was at KSCVC back in `95 and forgot that it was named Explorer.


Good point. The naming convention was, literally, all over the map…Naming for actual individuals is, basically, a relatively recent development — although, you could point out that the very first US aircraft carrier was named for a person (albeit, not a person in the military): CV-1…the USS Langley. The next was the USS Randolph (CV-15) – commissioned during WW2.

It is going to be sad to see the Big “E” meet the same fate as her predecessor-in-name…the scrapyard.

As long as there’s a discussion about which museums should have gotten the orbiters, the National Museum of the Air Force would have been a proper fit given the amount of involvement that the armed forces (in general) and the USAF (in particular) had in the design and development of the STS — and, the US space program from even before NASA was an ‘official’ (okay.. a successor to the NACA) government agency.

They come to NY for the Strip Clubs, but STAY for the Enterprise. Suck it 32 :) lol just kidding!


“My dad wore a leisure suit to my college graduation back in May, 1976. I’ll bet he kept that thing for years.”

LOL TrekkerChick is feeling very old after reading that statement. I graduated high school (not too far from, then-Rockwell International’s headquarters, and not an unreasonable distance from the assembly facility in Palmdale, CA) that year, and remember seeing polyester leisure suits, puka shell necklaces, mood rings, big jewelry, platform shoes… and that was what the GUYS were wearing.

If I’m not mistaken, the “Pathfinder” mock-up that was at KSC is being taken to the Johnson Space Center. I believe had an article on the move which will occur next year.

“Let’s make sure that history never forgets… the name… Enterprise.” -Capt. Picard, ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’- TNG

Captain James T. Kirk: Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no *one* has gone before.

Monday weather in here in NYC calls for rain. I hope they’ll still do the flyover.

I imagine they’ll come up straight from DC, bank right and follow the Hudson by the Intrepid (49th st.) on the way south toward the Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower (Ground Zero). Then they’ll do the usual approach into JFK, flying out over the Atlantic, do a 180, and do final approach. Just a guess.

I’ve flown into JFK a zillion times, and the approach from the ocean is typical. I’m hoping they’ll be visible over the GW Bridge straight out to the Verrazano.

I’ve always wanted to see Enterprise CVN-65, especially now that I’ve joined the Canadian Navy.

^37. “Pathfinder” is at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, near Marshall Space Flight Center where it was built and used to fit-check test facilities prior to using the expensive and delicate Enterprise. It was eventually given a cosmetic upgrade to look more like a real shuttle but it’s really steel and wood and has no crew cabin. As currently displayed it’s the only full-size shuttle launch stack in the world, mounted on real prototypes of the External Tank and Advanced Solid Rocket Boosters. The Explorer replica at KSC, which is moving to Houston, was purpose-built for visitors and has an accessible mock-up interior, which may offer Houston visitors a more interactive experience since it’s hard to imagine they’d regularly allow people inside Atlantis at KSC. Explorer is being moved by barge since it’s not built to fly and attempting to ride the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft would likely produce a high-fildelity, in-situ mock-up of Columbia’s debris field across the southern U.S.

13 – I’m in the media. Send me a link to something vetted (that is, from the Pentagon or AP or CNN or ABC) that offers stats on the Enterprise, and I’ll squirrel it away. All I promise is that IF I get to write that story, the folks of Atlanta will have some of that info.

The Media: We’re not bad. We’re just drawn that way.

I’m glad to see the shuttle in New York. Agreed that Florida and Texas have a more direct connection, though. They might have been better served by a shuttle that actually flew in space. Enterprise flew atmospheric tests only. That shuttle was named Enterprise after the fictional ship (due to a campaign) and New York served as epicenter of Star Trek’s resurgence (the 1972 convention, and many more) so in a way it’s fitting. More importantly, Grumman in Long Island manufactured the Lunar Module for NASA. Many people will see it here, though.

Maybe it’s just because I’m listening to a lovely but melancholy piece of Jerry Goldsmith Trek soundtrack music as I’m reading this, but news about the final voyages of these two ‘Enterprises’ gives me a general feeling of sadness. I felt similarly when the end of the shuttle program was announced.

The end of the shuttle program wouldn’t be so sad if there had been new manned space exploration project ready to take it’s place. I know that robots and drones are more practical and cost effective, but I don’t like taking the “man” out of “Manned” space exploration…”Where no MAN has gone before…y’know? ( and I am speaking of ‘man’ in the sense of human, not gender specificity ).

On a more Trek-O-Centric note; CVN-65 1961-2012…that’s 51 years. Roddenberry was right when he protested the decommissioning of NCC-1701 after only “20 years” in “The Search For Spock”. Of course, that number can be debated, since the ship was much older than that according to the series, but maybe Bennett was thinking of the time since the refit ( which would make a little more sense, since Kirk says in “Wrath Of Khan” that he hasn’t seen Khan in 15 years )

You know, I have high hopes that we’ll see a resurgance in space sooner than we think. Remember in 2005 when Enterprise went off the air and Nemesis was such a flop that there was no way there would be another Trek film? Nothing was coming down the pike. No new Trek was on the horizon to replace Enterprise. Lots of people thought the franchise was dead. Just a few years later, some new blood came in, and revived it.

Perhaps the end of the shuttle program will be similar. Sure, things look bleak right now, but in a few years, who knows what’ll happen, what exciting things may occur.

Like I say, high hopes.

I’m pretty sure the Navy will name another vessel Enterprise. It may not be an aircraft carrier, but the Navy has a long tradition of using the same names, and Enterprise is an honored name. In fact, I believe the only name they’ve never re-used is Constitution, and they actually had Constitution officially “re-named” in their database at one point to be the “Old Constitution” so they could name a new ship under that name, only to return her name back to the vessel after the planned ship was never completed.

As for the Enterprise test article ending up on the Intrepid…watch out for Amoebas…

Screw the next Carrier being named Enterprise! It would be more appropriate to name a Coast Guard National Security Cutter that name. We have five more planned, with next to be called the Hamilton (WMSL-753). I say we get a petition for WMSL-754 to be Enterprise!

If the Navy still wants the name, they can have it since the designation of a Cutter named Enterprise would be USCGC Enterprise.

I think it can safely be said that there will be another Navy ship named “Enterprise”. The carrier from WWII is one of the most decorated ships in US Naval history and it’s successor is pretty illustrious in its’ own right (Fifty years of service!). I’ve no doubt that there will be another “Big E” in the future.


Lord I hope so. She was the hero carrier of WWII
She was the Hero carrier of the Cold War