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    Posted July 29, 2013 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your views of space and stars

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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     "Space geeks will go anywhere to get their fix," wrote mcintron, a self-proclaimed "space nerd" who was invited for a private tour of the Intrepid Museum's space shuttle pavilion along with a group of others who follow the museum on Twitter. "The Enterprise is very special to me, realizing what an important role it played in the development of the space program," she added. The pavilion reopened on July 10 after being damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    After suffering the indignity of hurricane Sandy the pioneer space shuttle Enterprise is back on display at New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The shuttle endured trips by air and sea (appropriate considering the name of the museum) to arrive at its final destination. But last fall, shortly after the Enterprise went on display, hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance, doing damage not only to the temporary tent that housed the shuttle, but to the shuttle itself. It took months of work to repair the shuttle and rebuild the Pavilion.


    To celebrate the re-opening of the Pavilion, the Intrepid Museum invited Twitter followers and self-proclaimed ‘space geeks’ to a private tour and viewing at the newly re-opened Enterprise Space Shuttle Pavilion on Sunday, July 28th. It also happened to be the last day of the Space Fest, where NASA astronauts are among those invited to participate in talks and exhibits related to space travel.


    The excitement of all in the group was palpable as they gazed up at the enormous shuttle. Tour guide Mark Roberts led the group, talking about the history of the shuttle in a lively manner that kept the members enthralled. Originally, it was going to be named the Constitution but Trekkies petitioned President Ford to name it after the Starship Enterprise. Ultimately, Ford agreed to do so.


    The Enterprise never flew a space mission, but its contribution to the space program has been enormous. Enterprise was used by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle program. In 2003, after the Columbia shuttle disaster the Enterprise was used to help engineers re-create and analyze the problem that had caused the tragic loss.


    Also on exhibit in the Pavilion is the Russian Soyuz TMA-6. The Soyuz flew many missions to the International Space Station which is obvious from the many scars and burn marks on its exterior. It carried three astronauts in the tiny space, along with so much equipment and supplies that astronauts traveled scrunched down into the bare minimum of space. It was thrilling to look at the capsule and realize it has journeyed to ‘Where no man has flown before’, to quote Captain Kirk.


    The Enterprise is on permanent display at the Pavilion year round and it is well worth the trip to the Intrepid to see it.


    Thinking about all that space travel has accomplished since the Enterprise first came into being in 1974 is absolutely mind boggling. Even more so, is realizing that without the Enterprise none of it would have been possible. She is a beautiful space ship and she is in the absolutely right place. If she can make it here she can make it anywhere… but then again, she was a superstar before ever coming to New York wasn’t she?


    As one of those who stood on the pier in freezing wind to welcome her as she made her voyage up the Hudson river, finally seeing the Enterprise up close and personal was thrilling beyond description. I encourage anyone who dreams of space, who believes that it is through exploration that we find all that is possible, to visit the Enterprise.

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