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Photographer's Note

From the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum website:

The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, is a test vehicle designed to operate in the atmosphere; it is not equipped for spaceflight. Enterprise was rolled out at Rockwell International's assembly facility in Palmdale, California in 1976. In 1977, it entered service at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, for a nine-month-long approach and landing test program. The vehicle was flown atop the Boeing 747 Shuttle carrier aircraft and also released for piloted free-flights and landings
to check out all systems and performance characteristics. This test program was a necessary prelude to the first orbital flight by the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981.

In 1985, NASA transferred Enterprise to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum where it remained in a storage hangar at Washington's Dulles International Airport. In November, 2003, Enterprise was moved to the nearby Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center where it will be on public display while it is restored.

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Additional Photos by Nikos Bournas (nbournas) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 406 W: 18 N: 348] (3229)
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