Enterprise sets sail

Up and away: The Marine Parkway Bridge was raised on Sunday afternoon to give the space shuttle Enterprise a wide berth as it made its way from JFK to Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, where it will stop before heading to the Intrepid Air, Sea, and Space Museum in Manhattan for permanent placement.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Brooklyn boaters shared the high seas with an unlikely companion on Sunday — a space shuttle.

Thousands of onlookers crowded the southern shores of Kings County to catch a glimpse of the barge-born Enterprise space shuttle, which accumulated an entourage of delighted boaters as it made its way from JFK Airport to Port Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The 57,000-pound orbital prototype, which arrived at JFK hitched to a jumbo jet in late April, was loaded by crane onto a flatbed barge on Saturday, before heading out to Jersey the following day.

Enterprise began its tour of Brooklyn at the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, which had to be raised to allow the shuttle’s tail, or vertical stabilizer, to pass underneath. It then sailed within a stone’s throw of Luna Park in Coney Island, where riders on the Cyclone roller coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel caught a glimpse of the space craft’s voyage.

Several thousand Brooklynites lined the shoreline of Bay Ridge to watch the last leg of the shuttle’s tour — passing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which its tail easily cleared.

Enterprise continued its voyage on Tuesday to the deck of the Intrepid Air, Sea, and Space Museum in Manhattan, where it will be permanently displayed.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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