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Enterprise space shuttle makes final voyage, lands in New York City (VIDEO)


Space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies past the Statue of Liberty prior to landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 27, 2012 in New York City. Enterprise, which was flown from Washington, DC, will eventually be put on permanent display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.


Michael Heiman

The space shuttle Enterprise made its final voyage through New York on Friday atop a modified 747 jet, landing at JFK airport after flying by the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center, NBC News New York reported

The Enterprise, which has never been on an actual space mission, was a full-scale test vehicle which NASA used for test flights and ground experiments, the Washington Post reported.

Its nearly two-hour flight from Washington had been pushed back for several days due to bad weather, reported.

The shuttle was previously housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, but will be permanently installed at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum on June 6, where it will be "the largest and most significant space artifact in the entire Northeast," Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Intrepid's president, told NBC News. 

More from GlobalPost: Mission complete: US shuttle Atlantis lands for last time

"When somebody comes to visit, they will not only see the shuttle itself, but will have an engaging and interactive experience inside the pavilion," Marenoff-Zausner said.

The shuttle's presence at the Intrepid, a converted World War II era carrier, is expected to increase the museum's number of annual visitors by about 30 percent to 1.3 million over the course of a year, the Post reported. 

“This is an institution in American history,” Marenoff-Zausner said of the Enterprise. “This tested so many different things that without it, travel into space would never have happened.”

Enterprise was replaced at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center by NASA's most-flown space shuttle, the Discovery, on April 19, reported. It was originally named the "Constitution," but after fans of the sci-fi TV series "Star Trek" staged a successful write-in campaign, it became known as the Enterprise. 

NASA is in the process of wrapping up it's shuttle program, which ended last summer, and has docked its' shuttle Endeavor in Los Angeles and shuttle Atlantis at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, according to NBC News. 

More from GlobalPost: Space shuttle Discovery makes its final voyage to Smithsonian