New York, NY (July 19, 2012) – Hundreds of visitors, including school children from across the tri-state area, came out to help make history today as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum officially opened its new Space Shuttle Pavilion, showcasing the Space Shuttle Enterprise – the only NASA Space Shuttle in the Northeast – on the flight deck of the Intrepid Museum here.The official ribbon cutting and public opening of the pavilion provided the conclusion to the exciting journey of the Enterprise, from Washington DC to John F. Kennedy International Airport in April, then up the Hudson River by barge to the Intrepid Museum where it was craned onto the flight deck in June.The Space Shuttle Enterprise was NASA’s first space shuttle, a prototype that conducted critical tests within Earth’s atmosphere in 1977. These pioneering tests paved the way for the successful orbital flights of later shuttles, beginning with the first flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981. Following the retirement of the shuttles in 2011, NASA awarded Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
“New York is where big things happen, and Enterprise is our idea of something big,” said Ken Fisher, Co-Chairman of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. “I’m proud of everyone who worked so hard to bring Enterprise here and create this stunning exhibit. You’ll never get closer to a space shuttle than here at Intrepid.”
“This is a first class exhibit that prominently displays Enterprise, tells her important story and role in the history of space exploration, and will thrill anyone who’s ever dreamed of going to space,” said Bruce Mosler, Co-Chairman of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. “We are very proud to have her here, on Intrepid’s hallowed deck to tell her story to the millions of people who visit New York every year.”
Inside Intrepid’s Space Shuttle Pavilion, Enterprise sits just 10 feet off the ground, allowing visitors to walk underneath and around the original NASA orbiter that paved the way for America’s successful space shuttle program. Dramatic lighting and a series of backlit images and panels, along with video stations throughout the exhibition walls, explain the space shuttle orbiter both as an experimental space plane, as well as a vehicle that enables a greater understanding of science and technology.
Surrounding exhibits highlight the people who made this aerospace creation a reality while historic photographs and film footage emphasize the story of Enterprise as the prototype space shuttle orbiter and illuminate its relationship to NASA’s historic role in experimental aircraft throughout the twentieth century.
A short film narrated by actor Leonard Nimoy traces the dramatic history of Enterprise and the space shuttle program.
Also in the pavilion, the “Sponsor a Star” display, the official fund-raising drive for a permanent exhibition space for Enterprise, shows the breadth of the grassroots support from individuals nationwide for the shuttle’s presence in New York City. Those interested in supporting the building of the new Science and Technology Center at the Intrepid can visit www.intrepidmuseum.orgwww.intrepidmuseum.org>.
“This is the culmination of years of hard work by our entire Intrepid Museum team,” said Susan Marenoff-Zausner, President of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. “We expect imaginations to soar and pulses to race as visitors walk into the pavilion and see Enterprise in all her majesty. We’re thrilled to be able to share Enterprise with all of New York and the world. We also want to thank our sponsors, Time Warner Cable and Samsung, for helping make possible and enhancing Enterprise’s exhibition within the Space Shuttle Pavilion.”
Time Warner Cable is an official sponsor of the Enterprise’s new Space Shuttle Pavilion and a sponsor of the Intrepid Museum. The sponsorship is closely aligned with two of the company’s initiatives — Time Warner Cable’s philanthropic effort Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), which seeks to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math, and its “Enjoy New York Better” campaign, designed to help New Yorkers and those visiting enjoy, even more, many of the things they love about the city. Time Warner Cable customers can watch the historic voyage of the Enterprise to its home on the Intrepid by tuning to Local On Demand (Channel 1110) under the CAMM tab.
“It’s an honor for Time Warner Cable to sponsor the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and its new exhibit showcasing Space Shuttle Enterprise,” said Glenn Britt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner Cable. “Our country was built on innovation, the same innovative spirit that we at Time Warner Cable are cultivating through our Connect a Million Minds initiative–our effort to inspire the future leaders of tomorrow by engaging them in the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Enterprise is a great example of STEM in action and, together, we will pay tribute to it in many ways over the coming months.”
“We welcome Enterprise to her new home and open the next chapter of her historic life, as we at NASA embark on an exciting new space exploration journey,” said The Honorable Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator. “Relying on American ingenuity and know-how, NASA is partnering with private industry to provide crew and cargo transportation to the International Space Station, while developing the most powerful rocket ever built to take the nation farther than ever before into the solar system.”
Three of the four original Enterprise pilots, Richard Truly, Joe Engle, and Fred Haise, were also present at the opening. The fourth original pilot, Gordon Fullerton, who is unable to travel, was represented by his wife, Marie.
Net Results Marketing negotiated the sponsorship deal with Time Warner Cable on behalf of the Intrepid. For more information about sponsorship, please call Jeremy Steindecker at 516-817-0817.