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  Enterprise, the engine-free Space ShuttleFeb 02, 2012 5:20 AM PST | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Space Shuttle Discovery, which I was talking about yesterday, was the first Space Shuttle to be retired (final landing March 9th, 2011), and once all the dangerous bits I suppose are taken out, it's due to replace Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Smithsonian.
 
Enterprise is an interesting case, as it wasn't a fully functional shuttle, but rather a prototype built without engines or heat shield. What could it do without those? Gliding landing tests! Here's are links to the two parts of the contemporary newscast (dig the old TV commercials in there) from its first free flight and landing, on August 12th, 1977, after it was taken up to gliding altitude on the back of a modified 747: part 1, mated takeoff and climb, and part 2, separation and landing.
 
In that video you can see Enterprise sporting a jaunty white cone over where a shuttle's engine thrusters would normally be:
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
Enterprise was retired in 1984, took a tour of Europe and North America, and then went to the Smithsonian, where it has been ever since:
 
Image
image by Ad Meskens (source)
 
 
 
 
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