NEW YORK—The Space Shuttle Enterprise will eke out its remaining days inspiring young children to be engineers—at least that’s what astronaut Fred Wallace Haise Jr. hopes.
Haise, one of the test pilots for Enterprise’s five flights, was excited about the new Space Shuttle Pavilion at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum opening Thursday.
Video footage of early flights, text panels, and a dramatically lit Enterprise are all part of the exhibition.
In response to how he felt during his first Enterprise flight, Haise said, “It was exciting. I was worried, like any first flight—had we forgotten something?”
Haise was one of only 24 astronauts who later flew to the moon. He said the landing tests would check the landing characteristics and aero dynamics, and verify that the computers were working synchronously.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise was a test shuttle used to conduct pioneering tests in the earth’s atmosphere in 1977, paving the way for successful orbital flights later with Space Shuttle Columbia.
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver commented on the significance of the exhibition at its location in New York: “New York is not just a U.S. destination, but a global destination. The space program is a global enterprise that we are leading in. I think it’s a wonderful thing to have the Enterprise on the Intrepid in New York City, and we expect as with all the space shuttles at their museum destinations,that there will be a world population coming to see them in addition to the American population.”
Enterprise is expected to remain on the Intrepid for a few years before more permanent housing can be arranged. The pavilion opens July 19. A complete schedule of surrounding events can be found at www.intrepidmuseum.org
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