The ferry flight marked the first time Enterprise had been airborne in more than a quarter-century. The prototype orbiter — which never flew in space but was used for a series of approach and landing tests in the late 1970s — had been a part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collection since being flown to Washington in November 1985. [Photos: A Space Shuttle Called 'Enterprise']
On April 19, Enterprise was replaced at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., by Discovery, NASA's most-flown space shuttle. Friday's flight to New York began Enterprise's journey to the Intrepid, a converted World War II aircraft carrier, for its permanent display.
Planes, cranes and barges
Enterprise's final landing was witnessed by an audience of 1,500 invited guests, including New York state and local elected officials. A brief handover ceremony between NASA and Intrepid staff was to be held at the airport. The space agency already turned over Enterprise's title to the museum last December.
Now on the ground in New York, Enterprise and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft will remain mounted together at JFK until NASA can move and set up the two large cranes that joined the two vehicles in Washington. Once separated, Enterprise will be parked in an airport hangar for several weeks.