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Space Shuttle Enterprise flyover wows New Yorkers (+video)

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"How often do you get to see something like this — a shuttle on piggyback coming down the Hudson River?" said Kenneth Irvin, who came with his wife, Ceil, from Long Island. [Photos: Final Voyage of Space Shuttle Enterprise]

As Enterprise and its chaperone flew overhead, the crowd, which was made up of men, women and children of all ages, erupted into cheers and applause.

"It was absolutely amazing to see it like that," Adam Schechter said shortly after Enterprise's first pass. Schechter carried his young son, Harry, and spoke energetically about his experiences with the space shuttles, including seeing the STS-97 launch of the shuttle Endeavour in November 2000.

"It was amazing, and the loudest thing I ever heard in my life," Schechter told SPACE.com.

He also recounted a visit he and his son took to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., where Enterprise had previously been on display since 2003.

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