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Home > April 2015 > Dedication of Space Shuttle Enterprise
Dedication of Space Shuttle Enterprise
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Posted: 4/27/2015 5:04:38 PM


Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

On April 27, 2015, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum dedicated the space shuttle Enterprise to the crews who gave their lives in pursuit of space exploration on Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. The day also marked an anniversary: Enterprise made its last flight exactly three years earlier, landing in New York City on April 27, 2012, destined for the Intrepid Museum.

Families and friends of the crew members joined NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Intrepid Museum President Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Co-Chairman Kenneth Fisher and former astronaut Mike Massimino for a dedication ceremony honoring the crews—men and women who showed us the heights of courage, cooperation and sacrifice.

 

Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

“It is our great privilege to stand alongside the families of the brave crew members of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia as we dedicate space shuttle Enterprise,” said Marenoff-Zausner. “The spirit of the men and women of these missions will live on, right here, in this magnificent spacecraft and in the programs and exhibits it motivates.”

 

Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

Several family members of the astronauts spoke at the ceremony, sharing memories of their loved ones and imparting their hopes that future generations will continue the quest for knowledge and discovery. Speakers included June Scobee Rodgers, the surviving spouse of Challenger astronaut Dick Scobee; Evelyn Husband-Thompson, the surviving spouse of Columbia astronaut Rick Husband; Lowell Grissom, brother of Apollo 1 astronaut Gus Grissom; and Rona Ramon, the surviving spouse of Columbia astronaut Ilan Ramon.

 

Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut and now senior advisor of space programs at the Intrepid Museum, spoke about the camaraderie he felt with the Columbia crew, who came to be like family to him. And joining the ceremony from low Earth orbit, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly gave a message from the International Space Station, acknowledging that he would not be where he is today, 250 miles above Earth, without the efforts and achievements of the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews.

 

Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

In the culmination of the ceremony, the Professional Performing Arts High School Choir, in partnership with the National Chorale, sang “America the Beautiful.” The Dedication Plaque was then unveiled by the astronauts’ family members. Inscribed with a tribute to the crew members and their names, the Dedication Plaque is prominently displayed on the viewing platform overlooking Enterprise.

 

Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

Two hundred New York City public school students also attended the ceremony. Sitting beneath the space shuttle Enterprise, students witnessed the legacy of past heroes—a legacy these students are part of continuing. The students are participating in the Intrepid International Space Station Challenge (I2S2C), an experiment design competition created by the Intrepid Museum, the Ramon Foundation and the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Since February, the students have been designing their own experiments, one of which will be sent to the International Space Station aboard Mission 8 this fall. After the ceremony, guests had the chance to view the experiments and meet the students.  

 

Photo credit: John-Paul Teutonico

Space Shuttle Pavilion—including the I2S2C students. Enterprise, the prototype orbiter, paved the way for the space shuttle program, ushering in a new era of exploration that built on the success of the Apollo program. After the Columbia explosion, when the future of the space shuttle program seemed uncertain, Enterprise played a crucial role once more, undergoing a battery of tests so that NASA could determine the cause of the explosion and solve problems. The space shuttle program was able to move forward, creating the opportunity for new discoveries on the International Space Station and by the Hubble Space Telescope.

At Enterprise’s dedication, the I2S2C students were proof of a promise: the Intrepid Museum will ensure that the legacy of our past heroes will live on through Enterprise. Earthbound as it may be, Enterprise is still part of a mission—to inspire future generations to reach for great heights, just as the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia did.  

Learn more

 
The Intrepid Museum gratefully acknowledges Pamela Liebman and The Corcoran Group as well as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Foundation for their generous support of I2S2C, and Time Warner Cable for its support of I2S2C and the Enterprise Dedication ceremony.
 


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