| NEW YORK, June 6
NEW YORK, June 6 The space shuttle Enterprise,
strapped to a barge, cruised past the Statue of Liberty on
Wednesday on its way to its new home at a museum on New York's
For a shuttle that never made it into space, Enterprise has
had quite a journey. In April, hundreds of tourists and New
Yorkers watched in awe as Enterprise flew over the city
piggy-backed on a Boeing 747 Jumbo jet.
Enterprise drew more crowds on Wednesday on the banks of the
Hudson to watch the NASA spacecraft make its final approach to
the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Manhattan's west side.
Despite never flying in space, Enterprise holds a special
place in American history having been the first of NASA's space
shuttles. In 1977 it was used for a series of approach and
landing tests during a nine-month period.
Enterprise was originally to be named Constitution in honor
of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. However, a fierce
letter-writing campaign by Star Trek fans convinced White House
officials to rename the shuttle Enterprise after the fictitious
spaceship that Captain Kirk and Mr Spock flew to the frontlines
of an intergalactic battle with the Klingons on the popular TV
Experts say Enterprise captured the hearts and minds of many
by embodying the best of American ingenuity.
In April last year NASA announced it would retire its space
shuttle fleet to locations in New York, Virginia, California and
Florida. It decided that Discovery would take Enterprise's place
at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Virginia and
that Enterprise would be brought to New York.
Since its joy-ride over the city in April, Enterprise has
been kept in a protective de-icing tent at JFK International
Airport. On Saturday, the 171,000-pound Enterprise was lifted by
crane onto a barge, a process that took about three hours.
It toured Queens and Brooklyn on Sunday pulled by a tugboat,
passing by Coney Island and traveling under the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge before docking in Port Elizabeth, New
Officials at Enterprise's new home, the Intrepid Museum,
which itself is a repurposed former World War II aircraft
carrier, expect the space shuttle to be a major attraction for
years to come.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Anthony Boadle)