CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Space shuttle exhibit opens

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is housed on the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, moored on the banks of the Hudson River in New York. It's the new home of the Space Shuttle Enterprise, and CNET attended a preview of an exhibit devoted to the spacecraft.

See More
Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
1
of 16

Samsung SpaceFest

The opening of the new space shuttle exhibit is hailed as the Samsung SpaceFest and coincides with the release of Samsung's new ES9000 television.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
2
of 16

Space bubble

The space shuttle exhibit sits on the deck of the Intrepid and is visible from the road.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
3
of 16

Inside the bubble

CNET was lucky enough to get a preview before the crowds, but you can imagine this entrance hall will be filled with people now that the show is open to the public.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
4
of 16

Space Shuttle Enterprise

The Space Shuttle Enterprise fills the entire pavilion and is impressively large. It was originally known as the Constitution, but President Gerald Ford agreed to rename the craft the Enterprise after a letter campaign from "Star Trek" fans.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
5
of 16

Viewing deck

Unfortunately, you can't actually enter the shuttle, but there is a viewing platform set up at the nose of the craft where you can almost see inside. Almost.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
6
of 16

Test vehicle

The Space Shuttle Enterprise never saw space, and was used in initial test flights in the late '70s. NASA's original intention was to convert the shuttle to space-worthiness, but this proved too costly and it ended up being cannibalized for parts for the other shuttles. Note the small hatch at the top left; that's the exit.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
7
of 16

The cockpit

The cockpit is about two stories from the ground. Here it's seen from the viewing platform.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
8
of 16

The tail

The Enterpise's tail lacks the rocket booster engines needed for space travel.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
9
of 16

Testing tiles

After the Columbia disaster in 2003, the Enterprise was used to determine the reason behind the tragedy. Here's a section of the craft that was laid with the tiles used on the Columbia; the tiles covering the underside of the rest of the Enterprise are "simulated" and weren't built to withstand re-entry.

The new tiled section of the craft was bombarded with foam blocks (like what fell from the Challenger at launch) to test the tiles' ability to withstand impacts. At the top left, you can see the damage caused.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
10
of 16

Awe inspiring

CNET's David Katzmaier is impressed by the shuttle's sheer size.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
11
of 16

Landing gear

Though it's on a "spacecraft," the landing gear looks similar to what you might find on any commercial airliner.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
12
of 16

The Enterprise

The Enterprise prototype was the first of six shuttles, which also included the Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour, and Atlantis. The final mission of the Atlantis ended July 21 2011, and officially marked the finish of the 30-year-old space shuttle program.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
13
of 16

Detail of the landing gear

Big wheels.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
14
of 16

Educational materials

The hall will undergo several improvements over the next few months, including further educational exhibits for children.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
15
of 16

Enterprise's final resting place

The USS Intrepid is the final resting place of the Enterprise, but the large, inflatable hall that houses the new exhibit isn't a permanent structure. The museum intends to build a dedicated housing for the shuttle in the next couple of years.

See More
Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
16
of 16
Up Next

Super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse dazzles in striking photos