New Yorkers and tourists watched with joy as space shuttle Enterprise sailed over New York's skyline on its final flight before becoming a museum piece yesterday.
In a city that's understandably wary of low-flying aircrafts, people stood and watched in awe as the spacecraft rode on the back of a modified jumbo jet that flew over the Statue of Liberty and past Manhattan's West Side skyscrapers.
'It made me feel empowered. I'm going to start crying,' said Jennifer Patton, a tourist from Canton, Ohio, to Associated Press.
'I just feel like to have a plane fly that low over the Hudson, right past New York City, and to have everyone cheering and excited about it, shows that we don't have fear, that we have a sense of "This is ours,"' she said.
Ten years after 9/11, people gathered on rooftops and the banks of the Hudson River to marvel at the spacecraft. The flight was well-publicised and the police said that not one person called 911 to report the low-flying plane.
After flying through the city, the shuttle landed at Kennedy Airport and will be taken to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum by barge in June. It's set to open to the public in mid-July.
Enterprise was the first shuttle orbiter built for NASA and performed test flights in the atmosphere. It was incapable of spaceflight so never went on an actual space mission.
Its visit to New York came after NASA's decision to end the shuttle programme after 30 years.
Thinking of visiting New York? See our pick of the best hotels in the Big Apple below...
Best hotels in New York
Space shuttle sails over New York's skyline in final flight
Just three subway stops from Manhattan, Aloft Brooklyn is a cool, affordable alternative for your New York city break. Its communal spaces are geared towards "mingling" but, while you're here, definitely take a chance to check out the trendy local area, whether its chilling out in Prospect Park, or shopping at the hip Cobble Hill boutiques. Opened its doors: June 2011 Price: From $139 (£83) Visit: alofthotels.com/brooklyn
The Bowery House is a stylish lost-style hotel located in the architecturally rich, European-inspired neighbourhood of Nolita. Within a block of 220 Bowery, you'll find The New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sperone Gallery, Bowery Ballroom, Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, Albanese Meat & Poultry, Cafe Habana, Cafe Gitane, and much more. Back at the hotel, put your feet up in the living room, with its custom Chesterfield sofas, 65in TV, commissioned artwork and 'Bowery Bodega' snack shop. Or, head up to the rooftop garden for panoramic views of the downtown skyline, New Museum, Chrysler Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Opened its doors: August 2011
The Conrad New York is a luxury hotel located in Lower Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River. It's an art lover's paradise with over 2,000 pieces throughout the hotel, including a 13ft high Sol LeWitt in the atrium. The rooftop bar boasts amazing views of the Statue of Liberty. What more could you want? Oh, there's also an old-school barbershop located in the hotel’s atrium for guests and locals. Opened its doors: March 2012 Price: From $449 (£269) Visit: conradhotels.com
Designed by Benjamin Noriega Oritz, the Mondrian SoHo was inspired by Cocteau’s cinematic interpretation of “La Belle et la Bete”. It boasts breathtaking views, and 235 rooms with sumptuous interiors. When you get peckish, head to the Imperial No. Nine restaurant for its delicious modern seafood menu, and when you're thirsty, check out the "intimate downtown" Mister H bar for after-dark drinks. Opened its doors: March 2011 Price: From $259 (£155) Visit:mondriansoho.com
A luxury boutique hotel, the Nolitan is nestled in Nolita - "North of Little Italy" - which is a great spot in downtown Manhattan, within walking distance to SoHo, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, East Village, The Bowery and the Lower East Side. The hotel has 55 rooms, private balconies, a rooftop sun deck, and its own restaurant. Pets are welcome and there are bikes and skateboards for you to borrow when your feet are all worn out. Opened its doors: August 2011 Price: From $239 (£143) Visit:nolitanhotel.com
If you're looking for a hotel in the heart of the city, TRYP is for you, with the Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens and Times Square on its doorstep. And when you've soaked up the sights, make the most of the hotel's gastropub, fitness centre, and media room (with 55in TVs, Nintendo Wii, and popcorn makers). Opened its doors: February 2012
A stay at Yotel will find you smack-bang in the middle of Times Square - at a very reasonable price. Check-in is airport-style; you simply take the credit card you booked with and enter it at one of the automated kiosks, before being issued your room key and heading to your "cabin", which comes with WiFi, a bed that changes into a sofa at the push of a button, and ensuite bathrooms. Pay a bit more for a "First cabin" and you'll get an outdoor terrace and hot tub, too. Opened its doors: May 2011 Price: From $129 (£77) Visit:yotel.com
A boutique hotel that "combines sleek, Jazz Age themes with modernist industrial chic", Z NYC Hotel is located in Long Island City, which sounds miles away from Midtown Manhattan but, in fact, is just across the East River. It’s only one subway stop from Lexington Avenue, so you’ll get to the shops quicker than from most areas in Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn. The location is a great option for people looking for a room under $200 (£127) per night. The Z NYC Hotel boasts a fabulous rooftop bar with views of the Manhattan skyline, so is arguably even better than the views IN Midtown Manhattan, too. Opened its doors: July 2011 Price: From $175 (£104) Visit:zhotelny.com
Rubbing shoulders with some of the world's best art galleries as well as the famous High Line Park, Hotel Americano is found in Manhattan's Chelsea neighbourhood. Described as a "10-storey metal mesh-wrapped boutique lodging", it features a glass elevator that whisks you up to the roof terrace restaurant, which is Greek in the summer and Argentinian in the winter. There's also a rooftop pool, which transforms into a hot tub when cold season hits, as well as a cool basement bar called El Privado. Opened its doors: September 2011 Price: From $195 (£117) Visit:hotel-americano.com