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Space Shuttle Enterprise sails to New York

Named for the iconic 'Star Trek' spacecraft, the Enterprise was the first of NASA's fleet of space shuttles. 

By Mathew MurphyReuters / June 8, 2012

The space shuttle Enterprise makes the final leg of its journey to its new Manhattan home on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Wednesday in New York.

Richard Drew/AP

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New York

The space shuttle Enterprise - named after the spaceship in Star Trek - achieved lift-off on Wednesday when it was hoisted by a crane onto a floating museum in New York's Hudson River.

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Cheers and thunderous applause erupted from the crowd of New Yorkers and tourists who turned out to see the retired spacecraft moved to its new home atop the flight deck of repurposed World War Two aircraft carrier now named the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

"Beam me up, Scotty!" a man in the crowd shouted as a crane lifted the shuttle off a barge onto the museum, repeating a catch phrase from the popular science fiction television show.

"It's part of our history," said New Yorker Cameron Fisher, 21.

The crowd grew quiet and the air was filled with the creaking of the crane and beating of a helicopter circling overhead as the shuttle rose 230 feet into the air.

"It inspires people to see what human ingenuity can achieve," said British tourist Kirsty Rushen, 35.

Earlier Wednesday, as the shuttle, strapped to a barge, made its way up the Hudson River and past the Statue of Liberty, crowds ranging from small children to elderly couples strained for a glimpse of the craft.

"Did you see the shuttle?" said a police officer running up to his uniformed colleagues like an excited child.

April flight over city

For a shuttle that never made it into space, Enterprise has had quite a journey. In April, crowds 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 its new floating home on Manhattan's west side.

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