Wed, Jun 06, 2012
Right Wing Dinged On Bridge Abutment
It must have been a sinking feeling on the part of the tow boat captain when the space shuttle Enterprise crunched ever so slightly into a navigation marker for a New York Railroad bridge. The shuttle was being towed to a temporary stop in New Jersey ... the first leg of its final voyage to the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan.
MSNBC reports that Dennis Jenkins, who was on board the barge taking the aircraft that conducted the glide and approach tests for NASA before the shuttle became operational, said that "Mother Nature did not smile on us." He said that a gust of wind caught Enterprise just as it was entering the passage beneath a New York railroad bridge which offered only a few feet of vertical and horizontal clearance. The right wingtip of Enterprise was pushed into the bridge abutment.
Jenkins said in an e-mail that was shared with the online site collectSpace.com that the damage appeared to be cosmetic. A statement released late Sunday by the Intrepid indicated that a "sudden microburst of wind measured at 35 knots" was responsible for the incident, and that the only damage appears to be to protective foam on the wingtip. The rest of the trip was made without incident.
Enterprise will be transferred to another barge equipped with a crane that will be able to lift it onto the deck of the Intrepid, where it will be on permanent display at the Sea, Air, and Space Museum. Weather permitting, the orbiter will complete its journey to the museum Wednesday, with the opening of the Intrepid's Shuttle Pavilion set for July 19th. (Image from YouTube video)
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