By: Jeff Simmermon at 06:24 pm
Yesterday, the Space Shuttle Enterprise floated up the Hudson river on a barge and was lifted by a massive crane onto the deck of the Intrepid. Time Warner Cable sponsored this, along with the shuttle’s permanent housing on the Intrepid flight deck.
We’re proud to have helped, and I’m personally proud, too.
I had the extreme honor of riding on a chartered boat down near the Statue of Liberty to meet the Intrepid and escort it along its way up the Hudson. My colleagues and I then stood on the actual flight deck to watch that gigantic crane – the same one that lifted Sully Sullenberger’s plane out of the Hudson – lift the shuttle onto the flight deck.
If you’re interested in our sponsorship, you can read more about that here.
I didn’t know what to do with myself on that trip. On the one hand, I was taking every possible picture I could think to take, on my phone and real camera. But on the other hand, you can either document something or experience it fully. It’s impossible to do both.
Here are a few photos I took:
It was a mind-blowing experience for me, but more than a little bittersweet, too.
My grandfather was a welder for NASA after WWII. He welded on everything from the first moon lander to the first space shuttle, including the Enterprise. He worked with NASA materials scientists to run endless tests on the materials used in the space shuttle program as well, including the heat-absorbing panels that cover the Enterprise.
He passed away a few years ago.
He used to take me to the Air and Space Museum when I was a kid and we’d linger over the giant ships. I remember him pointing out parts of the Apollo lander that we had worked on, saying “I worked on this, that there, and these other places on this lander, and on the the same parts on the other one. The one that’s still on the moon.”
I was 8 then and I’m 36 now, and that blows my mind just as hard as the first time I heard it.
Now the space program is shuttered, and we’re not sending anyone back up there for a long time. I’m glad I got to see the shuttle reach its resting place, but I wish like all hell Pop-Pop could have seen it too.