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Up Close With the Enterprise Shuttle At the Intrepid Museum

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-museum dept.

Space 63

An anonymous reader writes "As you probably remember, the Space Shuttle Enterprise was flown on the back of a 747 to New York City where it was then delivered to the USS Intrepid. As sad as it was to see a space shuttle retired (and NASA take a major step down in the space flight abilities) this was one of the most amazingly geektastic events in recent memory. Now the shuttle is on top of the aircraft carrier's flight deck, living in its very own pavilion. As of tomorrow it will go on display as part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, but today we got a sneak peek at the shuttle."

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63 comments

Enterprise Shuttle? (5, Funny)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#40693343)

I use it every time I travel on business.
They're the best car rental in my opinion.

Re:Enterprise Shuttle? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693621)

I use it every time I travel on business. They're the best car rental in my opinion.

yo mama was the best most experienced fuck in my opinion.

i nutted all up inside that biatch.

Re:Enterprise Shuttle? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#40696141)

I want to know why the hell the Delta Flyer isn't there too!

Shuttle on back of a 747 (2, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#40693373)

Um, carrying a shuttle on the back of a 747 is how it's typically transported. About as geektastic as a furniture shipment, by now.

Re:Shuttle on back of a 747 (4, Insightful)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 2 years ago | (#40694021)

Um, carrying a shuttle on the back of a 747 is how it's typically transported. About as geektastic as a furniture shipment, by now.

I suspect that it was very seldom flown to New York City, however. Many millions of people would have had the opportunity to see such a flight for the first time.

And honestly, your smug dismissal of this event as being "as geektastic as a furniture shipment" marks you as being as wannabe-cool and faux-jaded as the hipster who won't listen to any band he's already heard of, because "they're so last week".

Re:Shuttle on back of a 747 (2)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 years ago | (#40696717)

I suspect that it was very seldom flown to New York City, however. Many millions of people would have had the opportunity to see such a flight for the first time.

And honestly, your smug dismissal of this event as being "as geektastic as a furniture shipment" marks you as being as wannabe-cool and faux-jaded as the hipster who won't listen to any band he's already heard of, because "they're so last week".

Sounds like New York City is just the place for him, then!

Not the best possible home (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#40693427)

One thing I remember about the Intrepid was the fighter jets on the flight deck with shattered cockpits. Unfortunately, it's not been possible to date to keep vandals off of the ship. So, keep watching how they take care of the Shuttle. If there are problems, we really should start lobbying for a different home.

Re:Not the best possible home (4, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | about 2 years ago | (#40693603)

the fighter jets on the flight deck with shattered cockpits

That's the usual fate of aircraft put on permanent static display in an unsecured location. The unbroken canopy parts turn yellow in the sun and then craze, the tires rot, the paint fades, the cavities fill up with bird shit and used condoms, and you have an eyesore within a couple of years.

Re:Not the best possible home (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#40693877)

That's the usual fate of aircraft put on permanent static display in an unsecured location. The unbroken canopy parts turn yellow in the sun and then craze, the tires rot, the paint fades, the cavities fill up with bird shit and used condoms, and you have an eyesore within a couple of years.

Yes. While I am a tremendous fan of the Air Force museum in Dayton, and indeed think it's better than the Air and Space Museum in D.C., my annual visit there (for Dayton Hamvention) always includes a look at the various outdoor exhibits. Most obviously rotting from year to year are the two nuclear missle launchers, the truck one and the railroad one. But to their credit, they have much more material under roofs than most museums, and are collecting funds for yet another hangar. And as an active Air Force base they have some serious security.

Another experience was in, I think, the Connecticut Trolley Museum. There was a really nice car that, I think, didn't need restoration, except that its doors were open to the weather and plants were starting to grow in some of its nooks.

Re:Not the best possible home (2)

TCPhotography (1245814) | about 2 years ago | (#40694125)

They do cycle the aircraft and other outside displays through maintenance cycles, and most of the time there are only around a dozen or so aircraft in the Air Park (the newest of which is the first C-17). Also, many of the Air Park planes will be moved inside to one of the hangers following the reshuffleing once they get the 5th hanger built.

One other note, you may remember that they hit a bridge with the shuttle's wing when it was on the barge in NYC - that never would have happened at The Air Force museum as the runway for delivery is functionally adjacent to the museum.

Re:Not the best possible home (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#40694263)

That's a 7000 foot runway, and kind of narrow. They needed the runway on the base for the Valkyrie.

Re:Not the best possible home (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693629)

One thing I remember about the Intrepid was the fighter jets on the flight deck with shattered cockpits. Unfortunately, it's not been possible to date to keep vandals off of the ship.

Sometimes "vandals" is a nice way of saying "niggers". Just sayin'.

Re:Not the best possible home (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 2 years ago | (#40698031)

One thing I remember about the Intrepid was the fighter jets on the flight deck with shattered cockpits. Unfortunately, it's not been possible to date to keep vandals off of the ship. So, keep watching how they take care of the Shuttle. If there are problems, we really should start lobbying for a different home.

Although I agree it's necessary to keep the shuttle in good condition, I cringe at the thought of a "pavilion" on the deck of that historic old ship. The museum needs to decide whether the Intrepid or Enterprise is the main attraction, and get rid of the one that isn't. Enterprise was never intended to be housed on an aircraft carrier, and the Intrepid was never indented to house a shuttle. Modifying or neglecting either goes against a museum's purpose of preserving objects from the past so they may be enjoyed by others in the future.

Re:Not the best possible home (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#40698159)

I guess it won't fit in the hangar deck? Or they simply want it to be visible from the street, I bet.

The Hornet has all sorts of stuff on the hangar deck, including an Apollo capsule and the Mobile Quarantine Facility. That works.

Re:Not the best possible home (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#40698275)

They could always put it here [oobject.com] .

Which Enterprise (-1, Redundant)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#40693433)

Which Enterprise are we talking about here? The shuttles of the 1701D Enterprise (TNG) were warp capable, but I don't think the original Kirk era ship had warp capable shuttles.

Re:Which Enterprise (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 2 years ago | (#40693751)

Ahh, but you are wrong.

They had what was called a "Warp Sled" which allowed the shuttles to be propelled at warp speeds.

Cheesy? Yes.

But this is one of the many reasons that even numbered Star Trek Movies did not suck.

Re:Which Enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40695849)

Space Citizen Kane loves his Warp Sled.

old news, i saw it and touched at the worlds fair (2)

puto (533470) | about 2 years ago | (#40693439)

I saw it, touched it, at the worlds fair 1984 in new orleans.

Re:old news, i saw it and touched at the worlds fa (2)

Burdell (228580) | about 2 years ago | (#40694203)

Heh, I saw it on the back of the 747 as it landed in 1978 at the Marshall Space Flight Center for dynamic testing. We got to walk up to it (and an external tank) at the NASA employee picnic right after that.

Seen it at Dulles (4, Interesting)

Robo1icious (1772516) | about 2 years ago | (#40693441)

I worked at Dulles airport in the 80's when the Enterprise was just setting out in the woods at the back of the airport property. I remember walking up to it just so I could say I touched it. They had several other old planes setting back there at the time and if I recall correctly at least one of those are now at the Smithsonian. To bad we didn't have camera phones back then eh?

Re:Seen it at Dulles (4, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#40694081)

I worked at Dulles airport in the 80's when the Enterprise was just setting out in the woods at the back of the airport property.

Air & Space at Dulles

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.

The James S. McDonnell Space Hangar opened in November 2004 and displays hundreds of famous spacecraft, rockets, satellites and space-related small artifacts. The centerpiece of the space hangar is the Space Shuttle Discovery. Other space artifacts include the Gemini VII space capsule; the Mobile Quarantine Unit used upon the return of the Apollo 11 crew; and a Redstone rocket.

Between the Discovery and the overlook is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet ever built.

Other unique artifacts exhibited in the Boeing Aviation Hangar include:

the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay.

the Boeing 367-80 or Dash 80, the prototype 707, America's first jet airliner.

the Aichi Seiran Japanese WWII bomber, the only remaining Seiran.

the Boeing 307 Stratoliner Clipper Flying Cloud, the first airliner with a pressurized cabin.

a Concorde supersonic airliner.

National Air & Space Museum The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center [si.edu]

Re:Seen it at Dulles (4, Informative)

kiwimate (458274) | about 2 years ago | (#40694185)

The Udvar-Hazy Center has both the shuttle and the Blackbird [si.edu] . As a bonus, you can go up into an observation tower [si.edu] and watch the planes at the nearby airport while listening to ATC chatter.

Re:Seen it at Dulles (1)

zyzko (6739) | about 2 years ago | (#40695037)

I highly recommend the Udvar-Hazy - admission is free, the collection is incredible and they even have comprehensive free tours if you like that.

Of course they are in Virginia in the middle of nowhere compared to Intrepid which is a short walk away from Broadway. The most interesting part in my opinion on Intrepid is the ship itself, not the planes on the deck.

Re:Seen it at Dulles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40696799)

This reminds of a story I came across on nycaviation.com while using it to help track moments to get a first-hand glimpse of the shuttle flying and sailing:

http://www.nycaviation.com/2012/05/will-the-space-shuttle-be-loved-by-intrepid

with accompanying forum thread:

http://nycaviation.com/forum/threads/43025-Will-Space-Shuttle-Enterprise-Be-Loved-By-Intrepid

Apparently, the airplane spotting group helped gather support for the Intrepid to be a shuttle home and felt slighted by not give access to shuttle events. In addition, they list a few facts why they felt, in retrospect, that the ship may have not been the best choice: the arrangement and condition of exhibits and the damage caused to the Concorde when kids used it as a target for bounced balls and and when the iconic nose, which was left dangling over a roadway, was sheared off.

Another issue was cost: it will cost $30 per adult (discounts for youth, students, etc.) for access to both the regular museum and the closed space pavilion (story has an incorrect quote of $50.) For a family, depending on ages, that's pretty expensive. Even though it's one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are world class museums of art and science, even on Museum Mile right on 5th Ave on the eastern side of Central Park, that are free/suggested donation.

Re:Seen it at Dulles (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 2 years ago | (#40699479)

Admission might be free, but parking isn't. So unless you are getting dropped off, I'd still bring some form of monitary payment. Though, if you are a poor collage kid in the area, I believe there is a free shuttle from smithsonian in DC out there.

Re:Seen it at Dulles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40701361)

Last time I checked it is $15.00 to park. (Usually) drive by it to and from work.

And someone said it is out in the middle of nowhere. Yeah right! There's a lot of cars out here in the "middle of nowhere."

Re:Seen it at Dulles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40704817)

There are hundreds of planes, helicopters and rockets at the Udvar-Hazy Center, including the Enola Gay, the Gossamer Albatross, a Concorde, the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, and loads of planes from WWII. Also a lot of space stuff. http://airandspace.si.edu/udvarhazy/

Re:Seen it at Dulles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40704717)

I was happy with the Enterprise until the first time I saw Discovery at Udvar-Hazy. The Enterprise looks pretty in pictures, but Discovery is a freaking space ship, complete with the drips, burns, and scratches.

The author is a moron (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693521)

Enterprise was the name given to the ONLY shuttle who has NEVER flown into space. It is the name of the mock shuttle that was used for a few drop tests and immediately sent to the Smithsonian. It has never "retire" because it was never active. It is part of history, but not "space flight" history.

Re:The author is a moron (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693579)

My dad has retired, and he's never flown in space. It's not a requirement. You simply have to no longer be doing your job anymore due to old age.

Re:The author is a moron (2)

rikkards (98006) | about 2 years ago | (#40695857)

^^He's right, my greyhound raced a whole month (9 times mind you) and she has been retired since. I don't think she went to space either.

Re:The author is a moron (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#40694035)

    Well, it was used in the space program. I'm sure most of us know, it was used as a flight model. It was planned for use as an active shuttle, but NASA found it would have been cost prohibitive to fit it with the required gear.

    I believe it was flown 5 times. So it didn't launch the same way the others did, and it didn't achieve orbit (by design), but it was flown. It was used for various purposes from 1976 through 1985.

    What I don't quite get is why it's a big deal that it's available to the public to view now. It was at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles for a while, where you could walk right up to it. Just like everything there, it was interesting to see.

Re:The author is a moron (2)

Burdell (228580) | about 2 years ago | (#40694237)

It got more than drop tests. It went through dynamic testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center for something like a year; that was the first time the entire shuttle stack (orbiter, ET, SRBs) was assembled. Without Enterprise and the extensive testing it underwent, the rest of the shuttle program would not have happened.

Do you think there were only 12 men involved in the Apollo program because they were the only ones to walk on the Moon?

Re:The author is a moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40695237)

The GP is criticizing the statement:

and NASA take a major step down in the space flight abilities

The Enterprise was not spaceworthy so it has no effect on NASA's space flight abilities. The GP's criticism is valid since there is so much news coverage about the Enterprise even though it never once orbited the Earth. When people go to the museum to see a Space Shuttle, they expect to see a machine that launched on massive rockets, orbited the Earth, built the ISS, performed science in space, and survived a fiery reentry into the Earth's atmosphere at Mach 25. They wouldn't consider a machine that was mated to the launch configuration and dropped a couple of times for gliding tests to be in the same category. Sorry, but the Enterprise is a Space Shuttle in name only.

Re:The author is a moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40696519)

Enterprise was the name given to the ONLY shuttle who has NEVER flown into space. It is the name of the mock shuttle that was used for a few drop tests and immediately sent to the Smithsonian

MOCK shuttle? How dare you! Enterprise will NOT be mocked!!

(Actually I don't think it even flew at Mock 1...)

lool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693555)

http://islam4web.blogspot.com/

http://kora-watch.blogspot.com

Cool pictures but... (5, Informative)

FSWKU (551325) | about 2 years ago | (#40693569)

FTFA:

"Some interesting points to note include the painted-over windows (the gray circles near the nose), the amazing intricacy and build quality of the landing gear mechanism, and the tail piece. The Enterprise was never fitted with engines so it has that specially designed part in the back."

Umm, hate to be "that guy" but there is so much fail in that one snippet I can't stand it.

  • The "gray circles near the nose" are not windows that were painted over. They're inserts to block the nozzles for the RCS system (and thereby reduce drag for glide tests).
  • The Enterprise may not have had real engines, but it DID have mockups for handling tests at KSC (as seen here. [wikimedia.org]
  • That "specially designed part in the back" is an aerodynamic faring used to reduce drag on the ferry flights and thus reduce fuel consumption in an already heavily burdened 747 carrier aircraft. They ALL have one of those that could have been fitted when called for.

Normally I wouldn't get this worked up, but from a site supposedly aimed at geeks, I expected more...

Re:Cool pictures but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693605)

THANK YOU. I was just about to point out those exact points.

It's not a boat, there's no windows at the waterline.

Re:Cool pictures but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693757)

Learning will happen ... as you reply ... and those read.

That is the way.

LoL

Re:Cool pictures but... (4, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#40694489)

The "gray circles near the nose" are not windows that were painted over. They're inserts to block the nozzles for the RCS system (and thereby reduce drag for glide tests).

Actually - you're both wrong. They're just indentations in the skin that are painted grey - to simulate RC nozzles since the Enterprise was not equipped with an RCS system.
 

That "specially designed part in the back" is an aerodynamic faring used to reduce drag on the ferry flights and thus reduce fuel consumption in an already heavily burdened 747 carrier aircraft. They ALL have one of those that could have been fitted when called for.

Not quite correct. While they were designed to accept the fairing, they didn't all have a fairing. IIRC there were only three built. One, unique, for Enterprise, and two operational fairings. (Trivia - the fairing could be broken down and carried internally onboard the SCA.)

Re:Cool pictures but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40694785)

Ummmm......
NO
Carrying a shuttle is well within the capabilities of the 747 SCAs. They are in no way "heavily burdened".
A typical ferry flight was limited by weather more than anything.

Re:Cool pictures but... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 2 years ago | (#40694833)

I responded to TFA to that effect.

mod uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693657)

and per5onal May also want Has ground to a XI'm sick of it. EFNet servers. Hobbyist dilettante

Where is Houston's shuttle? n/t (0)

gumpish (682245) | about 2 years ago | (#40693703)

Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

Re:Where is Houston's shuttle? n/t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693741)

User error: the filter is there to prevent this kind of douchebaggery.

Re:Where is Houston's shuttle? n/t (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#40694439)

In Los Angeles. You can come and visit it.

Fond memories (5, Interesting)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | about 2 years ago | (#40693733)

I remember when I was a kid and they were testing the Enterprise out near Edwards air base. Periodically we would see it fly (glide) over on its way to a test landing during recess ( I was like 6 or 7 years old). My father was a fighter pilot and took me out to an open house at the air base. I was a huge Star Trek fan and seeing a real life Enterprise space shuttle was pretty amazing. I even got to sit in the pilots seat and generally look around. In terms of geektastic childhoods it doesn't get much better than that.

Forcing "geekness" (-1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40693747)

Stories like this always make me angry. It's not "geek" at all. The Enterprise didn't even fly, it was just a ground testbed. If it hasn't been to space, who the hell cares?

These stories seem to be told by non-geeks who wanted to become "geek" just because it was the new thing. You know, they went out and bought some glasses with no lenses because magazines said that's what you should do. And you should cheerlead anything with NASA painted on the side of it, all the while proclaiming your geekness and indirectly pointing out how you BELONG. "this was one of the most amazingly geektastic events in recent memory" *gag* *puke*. No it wasn't and no real "geek" would ever say so. I mean, who gushes like that?

I wish being brainy and scientific would go back to being unfashionable, so we could be left alone with our spacecraft and library time.

tes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40693841)

http://dbpromo.co

More Geektastic (1)

NalosLayor (958307) | about 2 years ago | (#40694837)

You know what's more "geektastic"? The shuttle actually flying to space.

It never did (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#40695513)

This isn't to denigrate the Shuttle, just being realistic. We had to redefine what ordinary people meant by "space" just to get most manned launches into the "space exploration" category. The edge of space is now defined as "unstable low Earth orbit with significant frictional drag from atmosphere". It's a hidden humbling of our ambitions.

Space is not a suitable environment for people. We do miracles in planetary exploration; making the Mars Rovers work is incomprehensible magic to ordinary people. Yet it doesn't get as much publicity as sending a few descendants of monkeys to where the air is thin.

Re:It never did (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#40695941)

Space is not a suitable environment for people.

and cabin fever is a bitch.

We do miracles in planetary exploration; making the Mars Rovers work is incomprehensible magic to ordinary people. Yet it doesn't get as much publicity as sending a few descendants of monkeys to where the air is thin.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Re:More Geektastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40696981)

More geektastic yet would be a Saturn V launching somebody to the moon.

Texas screwed (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#40694995)

I'm not a fan of Texas, but it only seems fair that they get one of the shuttles. NY and DC are fairly close to each other. The mid-west has zilch in the area, and TX has long been a big space place.

Re:Texas screwed (1)

spauldo (118058) | about 2 years ago | (#40695081)

There's a museum in Hutchinson, KS that has a pretty good set of displays, including the Apollo 13 command module. Apparently there's a lot of Russian stuff there too.

I haven't been, but I've heard great stuff about it.

Just down the street, there's a salt mine museum as well, if that's your thing. Oh, and a garage door company run by assholes that I deliver to on occasion :)

Re:Texas screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40696585)

New York didn't warrant a shuttle. Houston did. Houston got Chicago'd by the Community Organizer in Chief.

Fond memories (-1, Offtopic)

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On the flight deck (2)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 2 years ago | (#40697213)

Lockheed A-12: Wow! A space shuttle! That's amazing! Hey, what's it like being in outer space?

Enterprise: What? Oh, I've never been in outer space.

A: Never been in outer space?

E: Well, they used me for test flights, and they were talking about doing some retrofits, but...

A: Hey, wait a minute! You don't have a heat shield! Or engines! Your a great big phony! (yelling to all the other craft on the deck) Hey everybody! This guy's a big fat phony!

E: (sighs) Goddamn Smithsonian all over again...

.

Enterprise not space worthy (1)

Danathar (267989) | about 2 years ago | (#40697309)

Not that it detracts from viewing it, but lets be clear. Enterprise was NEVER intended to go into space without retrofitting it which after costs was considered prohibitive. It was cheaper to build Atlantis than to retrofit Enterprise which tells you something about how "space" worthy it really was.

Enterprise was critical for flight testing in the atmosphere before Columbia launched.

Re:Enterprise not space worthy (1)

LocutusMIT (10726) | about 2 years ago | (#40699173)

Actually, the retrofitting was supposed to be minimal. People don't realise just how much of the shuttle was removed between normal operations, so installing the missing components would actually have cost much less than converting STA-099 into Challenger.

What happened were design changes during the construction of Columbia, many of them prompted by data from Enterprise's flight tests. These changes resulted in a much lighter orbiter, and would have required a serious rebuilding of Enterprise instead of the intended basic retrofit.

Re:Enterprise not space worthy (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about 2 years ago | (#40706515)

Not that it detracts from viewing it, but lets be clear. Enterprise was NEVER intended to go into space without retrofitting it which after costs was considered prohibitive. It was cheaper to build Atlantis than to retrofit Enterprise which tells you something about how "space" worthy it really was.

Enterprise was critical for flight testing in the atmosphere before Columbia launched.

Actually, it was Challenger that was built instead of converting Enterprise. Challenger was a structural test vehicle already, so most of the build work was complete. And since the testing had a HUGE safety margin, there was no damage, and it was decided to convert it from a test vehicle into a full orbiter.

Then there was Endeavour, built from spares leftover from Discovery and Atlantis...

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