Space shuttle sails over New York's skyline in final flight


Space shuttle sails over New York's skyline in final flightPA

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.

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