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.