Thousands of people are expected to show up for the first day that NASA’s Enterprise shuttle goes on display to the public.
The craft is being housed in a makeshift hangar on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid, a floating sea, air, and space museum on the west side of Manhattan.
The turnaround time is incredible, as the Enterprise just made its way to New York City in April. It took just three months to set the spacecraft up for display.
The Enterprise is one of four shuttles in museums spread throughout the country, but it’s the only one that never actually went into space.
It was a prototype of sorts that paved the way for future shuttle missions, but even though it doesn’t have the history of some of the more famous shuttles, it was built for and was capable of space travel.
Intrepid museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner was quoted by DNAinfo.com as saying, “We are thrilled with this display. It gives us a platform to educate the young people of New York and the U.S.A. about the space program. Hopefully the children of today might become the astronauts of tomorrow.”
During its first few days, the shuttle exhibit will be surrounded with special events like astronaut meet-and-greets. It is just the beginning of what will be the Enterprise’s new permanent home.
Over the next few years, a permanent structure will be built to house the shuttle. Guests to the museum are able to walk underneath the craft, which is suspended 10 feet above the ground.
This is the first time that a shuttle has been on display in New York City.