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  Intrepid Sea, Air & Space: shuttle Enterprise (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   Intrepid Sea, Air & Space: shuttle Enterprise
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-30-2012 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the first close-up view of Enterprise, post-Sandy, shared via Twitter.

It appears to show some damage to the top of the vertical stabilizer.

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-30-2012 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know, it is a thing, not a person and things can be repaired/replaced while people can't. I hope loss of life and total property damage from this storm all over the east coast is minimal when the tallies are made. But it is still pretty sad to look at. Enterprise has survived a lot though, including partial flooding inside during previous rainstorms.

Who knows how long that "dome" was flopping around on Enterprise in an uninflated state with wind gusts shredding it. This isn't just foam tile damage as it looks like they lost the upper tail above the rudder/speedbrake (I hope it is dangling from the tail on the other side or sitting inside the dome area, because forget trying to find it if it got washed overboard). I really hate it when a fear I've had gets confirmed.

Spaceguy5
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posted 10-30-2012 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even if the storm is unprecedented, proper planning would take into account the possibility of high winds (which inflatable pavilions are known to be a poor choice for). For something as important as Enterprise, I would have hoped they would have taken every possible environmental hazard into account.

Enterprise would be in a much better state had Intrepid done the logical thing and provided a rigid building which was designed to survive against such environmental hazards. The other museums have them.

Spaceguy5
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posted 10-30-2012 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Being from Houston, I feel the same way (though I do agree that Space Center Houston in itself needs a lot of work).

This is the 2nd time Enterprise has been severely damaged while in the care of Intrepid... in just a few months. I remember thinking it was bad when part of the wing was clipped off. There's better places Enterprise could have gone.

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-30-2012 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The thing that will suck about the whole situation isn't so much the damage that was caused by the storm, but rather how long it might take before they can stabilize what is left to help minimize any further damage by Enterprise sitting out in the elements. Intrepid had better have a VERY good insurance policy in place because they are going to need to get the ball rolling on stabilization and recovery efforts as soon as they practically can. It will not be cheap to do at all.

When I first heard about the dome, I was wondering why they didn't go with their first plan for storage, which was to store Enterprise at a hangar at one of the major airports until its permanent home was finished (busing tours there periodically), then take it by barge to the site and move it in. But I guess somebody had it in their head that they wanted Enterprise AT the Intrepid ASAP so they could generate funds from ticket sales to offset the expense costs for getting it. I don't think the money they made off those sales is going to pay for all this.

Now they have to do something to contain the damage, try to come up with a plan to repair what they can (in a spot not ideal for fixing something the size of a commercial airliner several stories above a pier) and rebuild the surrounding structure. And they have to do this before the first major snowfall or ice melting and refreezing inside those wings is going to start popping tiles off of it. More than likely they will focus on fixing the dome first, that way they can at least get the rest of the orbiter protected. But the top of the dome won't make patching the tail easy to do.

It is going to be a LONG winter.

bwhite1976
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posted 10-30-2012 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is just a "thing" and the safety of human life is paramount, but it fills me with sadness to see it sitting on that deck in that state.

Aztecdoug
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posted 10-30-2012 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
I am simply of the opinion that in an area prone to hurricanes and heavy snow fall that perhaps they might have opted for something a bit more rigid to protect a national treasure.
I am not passing judgement but is anybody honestly surprised?

cv1701
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posted 10-30-2012 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cv1701     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The fact is that Intrepid put a priceless artifact in an inflatable bubble, a bubble sitting on a flat aircraft carrier docked near the edge of the east coast — where high winds have occurred before — with no immediate place to properly store/display it.

Now take a moment to think about the fact that a flown shuttle could have just as easily been sitting there.

328KF
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posted 10-30-2012 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is absolutely inexcusable that Enterprise has now been damaged twice in the few short months it has been in the care of the Intrepid museum. There is not much to be gained by pointing fingers now, but serious decisions need to be made about what to do going forward.

I would want to know what plan was in effect in the days leading up to the storm, including the removal of the orbiter from the flight deck, to ensure the protection of Enterprise, or was there simply a "hope for the best" approach? Regardless of what could have been done, I feel strongly that the current arrangement is completely unsatisfactory for the future.

Intrepid officials have learned a hard lesson, and once the essential recovery efforts are taken care of, need to relocate Enterprise to a solid enclosed structure off site until such time that funding can be found for their own permanent display building.

328KF
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posted 10-30-2012 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is absolutely inexcusable that Enterprise has now been damaged twice in the few short months it has been in the care of the Intrepid museum. There is not much to be gained by pointing fingers now, but serious decisions need to be made about what to do going forward.

I would want to know what plan was in effect in the days leading up to the storm, including the removal of the orbiter from the flight deck, to ensure the protection of Enterprise, or was there simply a "hope for the best" approach? Regardless of what could have been done, I feel strongly that the current arrangement is completely unsatisfactory for the future.

Intrepid officials have learned a hard lesson, and once the essential recovery efforts are taken care of, need to relocate Enterprise to a solid enclosed structure off site until such time that funding can be found for their own permanent display building.

Rusty B
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posted 10-30-2012 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe the broken-off tip of the vertical stabilizer didn't blow away. Click on this photo of the damaged Enterprise to zoom in. Notice that in the torn fabric, sitting on top of the main engines, appears to be the broken-off tip of the vertical stabilizer.

cv1701
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posted 10-30-2012 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cv1701     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if there weren't strict requirements for having appropriate buildings in place before the shuttles were handed over. Considering the locales of the shuttles, it would be disturbing if there weren't.

Was the building in Los Angeles rated to withstand the worst earthquake imaginable before the Endeavour was handed over? Was the new building in Florida rated to withstand the worst hurricane imaginable before NASA sent Atlantis over? Did Intrepid have, well, a building before Enterprise was handed over?

I can only answer the last question, which was clearly a "no."

Enterprise had previously been in the custody of the National Air and Space Museum. Maybe they should have been more firm with Intrepid before handing Enterprise over to them?

You have to remember that the shuttles are probably going to stay at their present locations forever, barring something extraordinary. I would certainly hope the folks in Los Angeles have earthquake-proofed their building using only the finest state-of-the-art building designs and techniques, just like I hope the folks in Florida hurricane-proofed their building. After all, those shuttles are probably the most rare and priceless things within their respective metro areas.

The fact that Intrepid had Enterprise in a mere inflatable is just appalling.

SpaceAngel
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posted 10-30-2012 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ouch, poor Enterprise; the big question is what now? Will Enterprise be repair as it was?

p51
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posted 10-30-2012 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know it's a moot point but I have to wonder, would Intrepid have gotten the Enterprise had this storm rolled in before the delivery?

I sort of doubt it'd be sitting on that deck right now had this storm rolled in over a year ago...

OV-105
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posted 10-30-2012 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All new construction in California has to meet earthquake standards. The only problem is when a big one hits, are the current standards good enough for the quake that has not hit yet. So Endeavour I am not too worried about. Didn't they have a problem with a storm when they first opened up with Enterprise?

MB
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posted 10-30-2012 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MB   Click Here to Email MB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I know that the shuttle is not a person and that things can be repaired/replaced, the damage to Enterprise was accident that did not have to happen in the first place.

The inflatable pavilion was an incredibly bad idea to allow for the storage of Enterprise. If you have any doubt, just go to Youtube and watch all of the inflatable dome structures that have deflated due to severe inclement weather conditions (causing damage to structures and loss of life). This was definitely not an unforseen incident!

Likewise, while hurricane Sandy was a huge storm, historically it is not unprecedented. A similarly sized hurricane caused significant damage to Long Island in the early 20th Century. Hurricane forcasters have long been warning that this type of storm was overdue in the New England/New York area. Hurricane Irene last year, prior to the delivery of the Shuttle Enterprise, should have been caution enough to Intrepid museam management that the temporary structure was ill advised.

The Space Shuttle Enterprise should have been stored as originally planned in a more secure hanger, with a better chance to survive the storm than place in glorified bubble wrap! Unfortunately, dollars had more to do with this decision than common sense.

Yes, Enterprise has spent considerable time stored in the outdoors over its nearly four decades in service. However, much of that time was at Dryden Flight Research Center or further inland at Dulles airport. Storing it outside at Dulles Airport was not a good idea either and the Smithsonian was lucky that they did not have a similar accident.

What's done is done, but I would recommend that Enterprise be removed from the Intrepid and more securely stored until the museum has completed for the permanent exhibit space across the highway from the Intrepid. Putting Enterprise back in a "bubble" until the permanent exhibit place is completed is just begging for another accident, and with two accidents (strikes) on their plate, a third would be unforgivable.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-30-2012 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
It is absolutely inexcusable that Enterprise has now been damaged twice in the few short months it has been in the care of the Intrepid museum.
The Intrepid was at fault for the minor damage that occurred during Enterprise's barging to the museum, there's no debate over that, but 'superstorm' Sandy took its toll on far more than just Enterprise's pavilion. Buildings of all types were no match for the winds and water that this storm churned, so damage may have occurred regardless of how and where Enterprise was housed.

The decision to display Enterprise on the flight deck was driven by a desire to make the orbiter available to the public sooner. If you recall, the Smithsonian kept Enterprise hidden, stored in a non-climate controlled hangar, for close to 20 years. The Intrepid did not want to put Enterprise back into a closed hangar (New York's airports made it clear that due to security concerns, public access would not have been possible).

Under the normal weather conditions for New York City, Enterprise would have been fine inside the pavilion. It was rated to withstand snow storms, and had come through a severe hail and rain storm at its opening without damage.

You cannot protect for everything. No one predicted a storm of Sandy's breadth and strength, as evident by how many were caught off guard by its aftermath.

All things considered, Enterprise could have sustained far more damage than it did. And, at this point, we're all assessing the damage from afar and without details.

To quote NASA, "we're sure that our friends at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will do their best to take care of Enterprise and get it back up to shipshape as soon as possible."

cv1701
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posted 10-30-2012 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cv1701     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
I know it's a moot point but I have to wonder, would Intrepid have gotten the Enterprise had this storm rolled in before the delivery?
I think Intrepid would have probably still gotten Enterprise eventually. Much weight seemed to have been placed on the NYC location and the multitude of potential domestic and international visitors. But I think (hope) the idea of putting it in an inflatable on the deck would have been nixed and Enterprise stored elsewhere (or perhaps kept by the Smithsonian) until a suitable permanent structure was built.
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The decision to display Enterprise on the flight deck was driven by a desire to make the orbiter available to the public sooner.
It wasn't just the storm that damaged Enterprise... it was "go-fever."
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
You cannot protect for everything. No one predicted a storm of Sandy's breadth and strength, as evident by how many were caught off guard by its aftermath.
NYC still faced Hurricane Irene in 2011 (and dodged a bullet then, compared to how bad it could have been), so it's not like hurricanes and tropical storms pummeling the upper east coast have been unheard of or unimaginable.

The Intrepid Museum did not plan for the worst. They gambled with the inflatable and lost.

SpaceAngel
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posted 10-30-2012 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So like I asked, will Enterprise be repaired?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-30-2012 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We don't even know the extent of the damage yet, or the nature of any needed repairs, so you're asking for an answer that doesn't yet exist.

But yes, you can expect Enterprise to be repaired.

APG85
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posted 10-30-2012 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Think I'd rather see Enterprise in storage (out of sight) in a NY hangar, than exposed or in a tent on Intrepid's deck. At least until a building to house her is built....

Spaceguy5
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posted 10-30-2012 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Intrepid is saying that unprecedented flooding shorted out the power which caused the bubble to deflate.

I wonder how much of a safety factor (if any) that pier was built with above the highest known sea level.

And then obviously after the bubble deflated, the wind ripped it apart against the orbiter.

While you can argue that some buildings were damaged, if Enterprise was put in a building properly engineered to survive storms and high winds, this wouldn't have happened. It's a civil engineer's job to account for such thing. Obviously whoever designed the bubble did not.

This isn't the first time cost cutting has led to a disaster and it won't be the last. I just hope it will be the last for Enterprise.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-30-2012 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum statement
The rise in the Hudson River due to Hurricane Sandy caused flooding and damage to Pier 86. The pier was designed to withstand the 100 year storm. However, the unprecented levels of water flooded the main electrical transformers and both of our backup generators. As a result, power issues caused the Space Shuttle pavilion to deflate. The shuttle sustained only minor damage.

We currently are assessing the situation. The safety of our employees is most important, and when our teams are able to safely work on site, we will begin to rebuild the areas of our complex that have been affected.

We are eager to reopen our doors to the public, but as of now, the Museum will be closed until further notice. Please visit our website for updates.

MrSpace86
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posted 10-30-2012 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not surprised. While the damage to Enterprise is minimal compared to all the destruction in the Northeast, I don't think anyone would be cringing if the "mockup" in Space Center Houston was the one getting clobbered by a superstorm.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 10-30-2012 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bitter irony of the damage done to Enterprise while in New York is that the two areas that have incurred damage are the parts that were built in New York. Republic Aircraft in Farmingdale built the vertical stab, Grumman Bethpage made the wings. Let's hope that Enterprise will see better days in its future.

Spaceguy5
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posted 10-31-2012 04:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If what Enterprise went through is "minor damage" than I hate to see what Intrepid considers serious damage.

onesmallstep
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posted 10-31-2012 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw Enterprise's forward section sticking out from under the collapsed 'bubble' before entering the Lincoln Tunnel across the river going to NYC. What a forlorn sight; hopefully they can restore it to like it was before and reopen for visitors soon. A shame.

p51
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posted 10-31-2012 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The damages even made the morning news in Seattle...

Fra Mauro
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posted 10-31-2012 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No city, New York or anywhere else, should have been given a shuttle unless it was inside a building. Yes, I know that even buildings can collapse in weather like this, but to put a shuttle on an aircraft carrier, with a dome like this over it, is not smart.

Spaceguy5
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posted 10-31-2012 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The good thing about buildings is that they can be engineered to survive weather like this. The bubble Intrepid picked out obviously was not. Just an electrical outage is all it takes to break the bubble down.

tegwilym
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posted 10-31-2012 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't it a requirement that a museum had to have a good enclosure to house the shuttles in? That's why Seattle, McMinville, etc. were building the hangers in hope of obtaining a shuttle. I don't agree with L.A. getting a shuttle (or New York for that matter) but I have to say kudos to L.A. for taking good care of Endeavour during the transport.

I had my doubts and worries of another New York incident, but they really have treated her with respect all the way from LAX. So what if New York had to house it at JFK safely in a hanger out of view? That would just encourage them to build an enclosure sooner rather than putting it under an inflatable bubble on the deck. I'm glad they didn't get the plywood trainer that we have in Seattle, that would have been damaged much worse if they had it.

Of course human lives and homes have to come first in disasters, but if the museum had a proper enclosure, this wouldn't have been an issue.

As others have commented, I'll just also say "inexcusable".

mjanovec
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posted 10-31-2012 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The way I see it, I'm happier that Enterprise was housed in a temporary inflatable structure than a temporary rigid building. Had a temporary rigid building come down on Enterprise during the storm, the damage could have been much more severe.

The damage to Enterprise, based on what we see so far, appears relatively minor and can be repaired. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for dozens of lives and thousands of homes along the east coast.

GACspaceguy
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posted 10-31-2012 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First let me say that New York would not have been my first choice for a shuttle but the building was not the driving factor for me. If I have it right, the shuttle sat outside in the weather for some time before it was put inside a building in the Washington DC area, so a couple of years in a bubble it not a bad solution to being outside.

As far as the structural abilities for this structure, it is proven technology and this type of weather is a tough situation for all places. I guess we could say the subway should have been water tight as well as I believe that the folks of New York have a long road ahead of them when it comes to those systems. Both situations are a bad result of some very bad weather both would drive enormous costs into a place that can not afford those costs. The decision was made to allow the shuttle to be placed in this building and I am sure there will be a number of criticisms of both.

Do not be fooled by thinking a hard walled building would have done any better. A few years ago the Washington, DC area had a very heavy wet snow fall. That snow damaged a number of structures. One of those structures was an aircraft hanger that was state of the art, less than one year old. That hanger took it's first heavy snow load and the roof and walls came crashing in, trapping and damaging hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate aircraft, to the point that most were scrapped (happy to say the Gulfstream's were fully recovered). So, even the best structures can succumb to a weather system that no one ever expected nor designed for.

Spaceguy5
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posted 10-31-2012 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A properly engineered building would include a safety factor to survive more than just the expected conditions.

The issue here seems to be cost cutting... A higher safety factor is more expensive. Intrepid went with an inflatable as a cost-cutting method (rather than building a whole new building, as Seattle and Los Angeles did). I am glad they didn't build a temporary rigid structure though because given their record of cost cutting, it probably would have been a shoddy building. And a rigid building collapse would have done significantly more damage.

Enterprise has been nothing but a business this whole time... Most New Yorkers seemed to only want it as a gimmick to attract tourists (meaning money). And then they went with cheap transportation to the museum (which led to Enterprise's wing being damaged). Then they decided to put Enterprise on display quickly and cheaply (meaning money faster) while cutting corners, which led to this disaster.

ea757grrl
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posted 10-31-2012 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
The damage to Enterprise, based on what we see so far, appears relatively minor and can be repaired. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for dozens of lives and thousands of homes along the east coast.
I was hoping someone would say words to this effect. While I'm sad about what happened to Enterprise, right now I'm much more concerned about the lives that have been lost, those without homes, the thousands without power, and all those whose lives have been disrupted in ways large and small.

Enterprise can be fixed when the time is right. The humans left in the wake of Sandy are what matter right now.

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-31-2012 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After reading the press release, I find it a little weird how the ship lost power to its backup generators. If they placed them in the stern of the vessel (in the original ship's engineering location), given the direction of the winds, it should have been relatively protected. Although driving rain can be pushed into all sorts of nooks and crannies that one doesn't consider under normal circumstances. If they were on top of the ship in that building structure near the island (near the big air vents), then I can see how rain water driven sideways by the wind can be sucked up into them.

Maybe somebody could call it a perfect storm of circumstances, but was already pointed out, an electrical interruption is enough to cut off the blowers which give structural integrity to the dome. Maybe it is unfair to single out Intrepid for this failure given the storm was a bit more powerful than anticipated. But, a very weak link in their support chain was exposed.

Normal buildings aren't as dependent. If they lose power, you have no lights. But you still typically have four walls and a roof left. A hospital in New York City also lost backup power capability and had to have its patients evacuated to other locations. So they had a backup for the backup. Backup electrical generators also depend on a good fuel supply for them. If the fuel in the gas tank gets contaminated with water or something else, they end up just as useless when they are needed the most.

I am willing to cut Intrepid a little slack given it was a major storm that caused this. But, they really, really, REALLY need to rethink this whole deck display situation in the first place. Original predictions were what, three years of having Enterprise on the deck before the new facility is ready? Well, California Science Center is building a new facility for Endeavour which if I recall will take about five years and they already have land earmarked for it.

Intrepid is still having to wait for re-zoning of the area before they can even offer to buy the land from what I can recall. Most of us know from either anecdotal or direct experience that government bureaucracy can take a long time to do anything (look how long rebuilding at the World Trade Center site has taken, even though that is a special case).

Only silver lining I see to the Sandy situation is it might light a fire under somebody's rear to fast track the process, but in terms of what New York City needs right this instant in the aftermath of the storm, a new permanent home for a space shuttle is going to be very low on the priority. Once the steps are in place, only then can construction begin on the new facility.

One of my early concerns was that in museum displays, temporary exhibits have an annoying habit of becoming permanent. The lofty goals of executive directors and curators tend to get cut down to size when the budget numbers are crunched. So announced plans for spending money on permanent exhibits tend to get quietly shelved as the money goes to more pressing needs of keeping the museum going day to day as tourist dollars shrink and expenses go up (something every museum in the country is experiencing).

Intrepid had a plan in place initially in their proposal (i.e. the "greenhouse" built on the pier itself, which I was not too crazy about either due to other concerns) and after the announcement was made that they had won Enterprise, things changed. But apparently the decision to give it to Intrepid was final, so they were still getting an orbiter as the "title" was signed over to them. If Intrepid had said during their original pitch that Enterprise was going to be housed in a temporary dome on the deck of the ship, I doubt they would even have been in the running due to failure of at least one of the original criteria for consideration.

I know, I know. I'm rehashing old ground that has been covered before and could be accused of "preaching to the choir". But my original concerns about the Intrepid situation weren't due to any grumbling about a museum near where I live not getting a shuttle. It was due to this suspicion I had that Intrepid potentially had bitten off more than it could chew and I don't think they fully took into account the pitfalls and expenses required to display an orbiter properly and instead only considered the benefits.

I've heard similar misgivings, not just from cS members, but also from at least one person who works in the museum profession (and no, he is NOT connected with Dayton, Seattle or Houston). Nothing I have seen to date has totally removed these concerns from my mind and the events of this week have unfortunately reinforced them.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-31-2012 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it is absolutely great that so many are so concerned that our space history — in this case Enterprise — is protected and appropriately displayed. I can understand that passion and fully applaud it.

But passion is not a substitute for the facts, and I fear some mistruths and misconceptions are being cited as part of this discussion and others online. I would strongly caution against making assumptions based on appearances and suggest that if you are not absolutely certain of what you write, it is best not written.

The pavilion was not the cheaper option; it was also not the less advisable option. I would suggest re-reading Fred's (GACspaceguy) reply, as he has the engineering background and experience to comment accurately about the structural questions raised.

NASA didn't review or approve display designs. Any of the renderings that you saw prior to the museums being selected were visual aids, not requirements for the selection. All of the museums that were selected, the Smithsonian included, had to alter their display plans after being chosen, as it was only afterwards that they met with NASA and were briefed on what was and wasn't possible with the vehicles.

That said, the pavilion aboard the Intrepid did receive NASA's endorsement, and was, prior to this storm, a fitting and appropriate temporary display for Enterprise.

The selection process is over. The Intrepid owns Enterprise. It is their vehicle, their artifact, and their curatorial staff takes a great deal of pride in that, which they should. They would never purposely put Enterprise in harm's way, and as much concern as was raised here, I am certain they feel it that much more.

Sandy was a devastating storm for New York. All things considered, Enterprise faired it rather well, and will be repaired and restored on display. Tragically, the same cannot be said for many other buildings, homes and lives in the region.

retrodrone
New Member

Posts: 1
From: League City, Texas, USA
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 11-06-2012 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for retrodrone   Click Here to Email retrodrone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know the status of Enterprise? It was damaged in hurricane Sandy. The last update I've seen is nearly a week old and shows the orbiter under the depressurized pavilion. There's a Nor'easter moving in Wednesday. I sure hope they get the Shuttle covered up and protected from the winds and snow that are on the way.

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 11-06-2012 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as I know from press reports three days old, Enterprise sustained a broken piece of foam tile from its vertical stabilizer and will be repaired 'at the earliest opportunity'. I am unsure if its exposed forward section and stabilizer tip were covered up as seen in photos and when I glimpsed it last week.

According to its web site, the Intrepid itself is closed due to damage to its Welcome Center. No details were given as to the status of Enterprise. In a side note, the web site has two nice articles on artifacts it acquired for eventual display alongside Enterprise: shuttle orbiter wind tunnel models from NASA-Langley, and personal items from Adm. Dick Truly such as his pilots' helmet used in the ALT program and his STS-8 flight suit. They are currently in storage, and hopefully will be put on display someday.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-09-2012 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update from the Intrepid (via Facebook):
Sorry we have been quiet — communication hasn't been easy since the storm.

As we reported, our entire pier and Welcome Center were flooded during Hurricane Sandy, knocking out our main electrical transformers. Our team is working 24/7 to restore the power, but we expect to be closed throughout November.

The Intrepid, our aircraft collection including Concorde, and the Growler submarine were not damaged. And while the Space Shuttle Pavilion did deflate, Enterprise sustained only minor damaged.

We will continue to update everyone here on Facebook so keep checking back for information on our reopening date.


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