NASA's scheduled delivery of space shuttle Enterprise to New York City has been scuppered by a week of poor weather conditions, which have now pushed the flight of the prototype orbiter back to Friday, the U.S. space agency says.
A Boeing 747 jumbo retooled by NASA to haul Enterprise on its back was due to arrive at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport from a museum in suburban Virginia Monday, but forecasts of inclement weather forced the delays until the end of the week.
"Managers now are tentatively targeting the flight for Friday, April 27, weather permitting," NASA said in a statement released Tuesday.
Rain and wind from a weekend storm over the East Coast were blamed for the date changes.
If weather is as favourable as expected on Friday, NASA's retooled 747 "Shuttle Carrier Aircraft" — with Enterprise mounted on top — should fly at low enough altitudes to be spotted by New Yorkers near landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty.
Enterprise never flew in space, but it was used in the 1970s for landing tests. For nine years, it sat as a museum display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., but it has since been displaced by the space shuttle Discovery.
After its arrival in New York, Enterprise will be transported by tugboat up the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. It will then be put on display this summer in a climate-controlled facility.