The Space Shuttle Enterprise has reached its final frontier in the Big Apple.
NASA's prototype orbiter touched down Friday at John F. Kennedy Airport following a flight from Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., on its way to its future home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Manhattan's West Side.
The Enterprise got a piggyback ride to the city atop NASA's specially-designed 747.
After taking off, the shuttle flew north to New York, then made trips up and down the Hudson River, passing the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows bridge before making its final approach into JFK around 11:30 a.m.
The Enterprise was never used for an actual space mission, but instead served as a test vehicle for flights in the atmosphere and experiments on the ground.
The president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum says the Enterprise will be floated up the Hudson river on a barge and loaded onto the carrier, where it's expected to go on display in mid-July.
New Yorkers who lined the waterfront along Battery Park say they were not disappointed by the view.
"This is like a once in a lifetime thing. I don't think we're going to be seeing this any time soon, so trying to get all the pictures that we can," said one onlooker.
"Well, it's a great spot, I mean a great spot for the shuttle to come over, Statue of Liberty, and New York is just a great place to be, so wouldn't have it any other way," said another onlooker.
Immediately following its landing at JFK, a ceremony was held on the runway to celebrate its formal arrival.
Senator Charles Schumer, who lobbied to bring the spacecraft to the New York area, was among those to speak and said the Enterprise symbolizes the nation's success.
"We may have set backs, sometimes tragic setbacks, like the shuttle program had. But we will always complete our mission. And to see from afar the Enterprise fly by freedom tower is a symbol that New York and American always come back," Schumer said.
Back in the 1970s, the Enterprise was slated to be called the Constitution. However, a letter-writing campaign to then President Gerald Ford from fans of the Star Trek television aeries won the day.
Representing the Starship Enterprise, Mister Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, greeted the Enterprise at JFK.
"To the scientists, the engineers who make these wonderful things happen, I say to all of them and to Enterprise, Live Long and Prosper," Nimoy said.
The flight crew of the 747 that carried the Enterprise to the city were also honored at the ceremony.
NY1 Viewers Capture Enterprise Arrival
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