Updated 05/13/2012 05:07 PM
Space Shuttle Enterprise Removed From Transport Plane
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The space shuttle Enterprise took another step toward its new home in the city.
Early Sunday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the shuttle was removed from the 747 aircraft that transported it to New York last month in a process known as "de-mating."
The full procedure involving cranes and a lifting sling takes more than 10 hours.
Now that it has been removed, the Enterprise will be stored inside Hangar 12 at JFK until next month, when it will be loaded onto a barge and floated to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on Manhattan's West Side.
A curator at the Intrepid said the de-mating took place overnight because of this week's windy weather forecast.
"It's unbolting a lot of fittings and getting the crane hooked up properly and lifting her up. And as you can see now, she's being placed down on her temporary transport trailer that we had made for her," said Intrepid Museum official Eric Boehn.
"There were so many places that wanted to have an orbiter, and for New York to get Enterprise, I think, has been a great treat and a great honor for the state," said NASA official Stephanie Stilson.
The Enterprise officially goes on public exhibit starting July 19.