Huge crowds turn out for Space Shuttle Enterprise (+video)
Hundreds of spectators watched as the Space Shuttle Enterprise arrived by barge at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
In Pictures After the Space Shuttle
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Enterprise arrived at the Intrepid museum at around 12:55 p.m. EDT (1655 GMT), after floating up the Hudson River on a massive barge. Along the way, the shuttle cruised past several iconic city landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center.
As Enterprise approached the Intrepid — a retired World War II-era aircraft carrier that has since been converted into a museum — excited onlookers clapped, cheered and snapped pictures of the historic vehicle.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Brian Linton, 19, who will be starting his sophomore year at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. in the fall. "Just to experience it and be here in person is amazing. You can always find pictures of everything online these days and you can research anything, but just being here gives you a great firsthand point of view." [Photos: Space Shuttle Enterprise Arrives in NYC]
Linton watched Enterprise's trip up the Hudson River from Pier 84 with his father, Clinton, who said it was important for him and his son to witness the shuttle's arrival in person because it marks an important chapter in the city's history.
"I'm a native New Yorker, and I try to teach my sons everything about New York," Clinton told SPACE.com. "I think this is one part of history that is always going to be talked about, and I want to give my kids that full experience."
Clinton added that he was especially motivated to see Enterprise today because he regretted not witnessing the shuttle during its flyover of the city more than a month ago. On April 27, Enterprise flew piggyback atop a modified 747 jumbo jet from its former home at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. to New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.
En route, the shuttle and its carrier aircraft flew past some of the metropolitan city's most recognizable landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid museum.
"There are too many 'would've, could've, should've' moments that got by me, so I don't intend to pass up many other opportunities," Clinton said.