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A Babe in the Universe

Enterprise

19 Oct 2011, 17:09 UTC
Enterprise
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The Udvar-Hazy center of the National Air and Space Museum, close to Dulles Airport, is home to the test vehicle Enterprise. During the 1970's Enterprise was drop-tested from a 747 as preparation for the Shuttle program. Last week, in The Latest from NASM, we saw the original Starship Enterprise miniature on display by the Washington Mall. The name Enterprise was the result of a letter-writing campaign by thousands of STAR TREK fans. At the end of the Shuttle journey, we can think about the future. Presently this room is slated to be taken over by the Shuttle Discovery. Enterprise would then be transferred to the Intrepid Air Space museum in New York City. The Intrepid is just a 4.5 hour drive from Washington, and the choice leaves the middle of the US without a Shuttle. Space Center Houston and the Air Force Museum in Dayton, who were not awarded Shuttles, are quite unhappy with the choice. Sadly, even on Earth there are not enough Shuttles to go around.Beneath Enterprise's port wing is a small display case with early Shuttle concepts. Originally the system was envisioned as being fully reusable. A winged first stage would glide back to Earth after each ...

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