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U.S. space shuttle Enterprise lands in New York City

(Xinhua)

08:14, April 28, 2012

Space shuttle Enterprise rides atop a NASA modified 747 plane as it flies over the Hudson River in New York City, the United States, on April 27, 2012. The Space Shuttle Enterprise officially arrived on Friday in New York to be placed at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

NEW YORK, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. space shuttle Enterprise left Washington, D.C. on Friday morning and flew over landmarks in New York City before landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport to wrap up its final mission in the sky.

Sitting atop a modified Boeing 747 plane, the space shuttle soared over New York Harbor, overflying the Statue of Liberty and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Manhattan's west side to the delight of onlookers.

After its fly-around, the space shuttle will remain for a few weeks at JFK International Airport until it's taken off the 747 jet it rode to New York and will be transported to the Intrepid, where it will be put on the flight deck.

The Enterprise was never used in an actual space mission but was a full-scale test vehicle in the air and on the ground.

"This is a new beginning for Enterprise," said the Intrepid Co- Chairman Charles de Gunzburg. "As our nation's very first space shuttle, Enterprise now opens a new chapter in her long history of service here in New York."

Hundreds of tourists and New Yorkers gathered in various locations to witness the historic moment. The crowd, which gathered on the deck of the Intrepid, cheered and applauded and snapped pictures as the space shuttle flew over the Hudson river. "It's truly part of history. Because when we were kids, we saw the space program start, and all the technology we are using today came from the space program. So exciting for people like my generation. So exciting to see it," a visitor from Buffalo named Diana told Xinhua.

The Enterprise came to New York as part of NASA's process of wrapping up the shuttle program, which ended last summer. The Enterprise's place at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington has been taken by the shuttle Discovery.

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