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First NASA shuttle `Enterprise` set to open to public

Space shuttle Enterprise, the piece of NASA history, goes on public display Thursday at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum`s new Space Shuttle Pavilion.



Zeenews Bureau

New York: Space shuttle Enterprise, the piece of NASA history, goes on public display Thursday at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum`s new Space Shuttle Pavilion.

The 150,000-pound shuttle, at 57 feet wide and 137 feet long — with a 78 foot wingspan to boot —is an imposing figure that will be available for visitors to admire up close from just feet away.

The Enterprise, which was completed in 1976, was NASA`s first. The space shuttle only performed critical tests around the Earth`s atmosphere and is widely credited with paving the way for five future shuttles. It never actually flew a mission into outer space.

The Enterprise was designed to be a reusable spacecraft that could also land safely — allowing NASA to conduct launches more frequently and with greater efficiency.

Previous space crafts could neither land nor be reused for future missions.

Only four of the six NASA space shuttles remain as two experienced disasters during their missions, killing their crews: The Challenger exploded in 1986 and the Columbia disintegrated in 2003.

From Zee News

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