New Chances To See The Shuttle(s)

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The Space Shuttle Enterprise is scheduled to on April 23 fly low over New York City mounted atop a modified Boeing 747, but you could get an even closer look, right now, thanks to high-definition internet technology. The Enterprise flight is expected to take place between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., weather and other concerns permitting. And the full journey is set to bring the vehicle up the Hudson River twice -- once at low altitude, and a second time, literally on the deck. The flight will pass the Statue of Liberty and then Enterprise's new home, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The second trip, from JFK to the Intrepid, may be just as spectacular. If you can't be there to witness either, some new Shuttle-based "extreme detail" eye-candy, courtesy of National Geographic, will be better.

After landing at JFK, the Enterprise will be transferred to a barge for the second leg of its journey, by sea, and up the Hudson River. (That event may remind long-time New Yorkers of a similar barge trip taken by the Concorde in November of 2003 to the same destination.) Eventually, the Shuttle will serve as a museum attraction for New Yorkers and NYC tourists. National Geographic's approach will serve more broadly, It is hosting online "gigapan" views featuring "ultrahigh-resolution, 360-degree pictures of each orbiter." The interface allows visitors a chance to click and zoom and virtually wander, unobstructed, Space Shuttles, section by section, in detail, no fee required.