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  9/21: Dulles Day Festival (Shuttle Enterprise)

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Author Topic:   9/21: Dulles Day Festival (Shuttle Enterprise)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-21-2002 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today I attended the "Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull 2002" at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. For those not familiar, the event is organized to raise money for the Special Olympics by having sponsored teams try to pull a FedEx Boeing 727. The quickest to pull the 145,000-lb. machine 12 feet wins.

The National Air and Space Museum uses this opportunity to open the two temporary hangars at the airport to show-off artifacts including the Space Shuttle Enterprise and SR-71 Blackbird # 972.

This year, the Air and Space Museum was also able to show (from a distance) the new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center building which is now under construction.

I took the opportunity to snap off some pictures, a few of which I share below:













tncmaxq
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Posts: 264
From: New Haven, CT USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 09-23-2002 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look forward to seeing Enterprise when the Air and Space annex opens. Looks like it is in pretty rough shape now though. Are they going to refurbish it? When will that work begin?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-23-2002 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I asked about refurbishing and the reply was surprising. Enterprise may not necessarily be available when the new annex opens in December 2003. The docent answering questions said that they weren't sure the McDonnell Space Hall would be completed in time, and if it was, where/when the restoration of Enterprise would take place.

I'm not sure how much restoration is needed; but it does need a good cleaning. I wonder if the Smithsonian might be interested in a dedicated team of weekend volunteers to come in and give the bird a bath?

Paul
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posted 09-23-2002 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul   Click Here to Email Paul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's go, Robert! I've got my brushes ready, a BIG bucket full of hot soapy water, and a HUGE chamois cloth!!

Rodina
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posted 09-23-2002 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This may be a figment of purest imagination, but I seem to recall reading/hearing/ESP'ing or something that while Enterprise will go into the new facility for now, NASA has promised the Smithsonian the Columbia when it is finally retired and that it will go into the new facility and Enterprise will be moved elsewhere.

Can anyone disabuse me of this notion?

nasamad
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Posts: 1890
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 09-23-2002 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it may be because Enterprise is still occasionally raided for parts by NASA.
Not for flight use but more for strength tests etc. I suppose to see how the metal I bearing up over the years.

lunarrv15
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Posts: 1295
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 09-23-2002 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When was Enterprise retired? How many shuttles are active now?

Gordon Reade
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posted 12-01-2002 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gordon Reade   Click Here to Email Gordon Reade     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are now four active shuttles; Atlantis, Columbia, Discovery and Endeavour.

Enterprise was used in the the approach and landing tests but never flew in orbit. It was retired more then 15 years ago.

The National Air and Space Museum always has first call on anything NASA discards. In other words when ever NASA decides to get rid of something the Air and Space Museum gets to say, "We want it." or We'll pass." before anyone else.

You can bet they'll want Columbia but she may not be retired for another 15 years or so.

Philip
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Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-02-2002 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I visited the National Air and Space Museum in August 2000, they had computer drawings and already planned to put the "larger pieces" at the new location (Enterprise, SR-71 Blackbird, B-29 Enola Gay). Great location also easy to get over there for us Europeans!

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