It seems the temporary structure that the Intrepid Space and Science Museum erected to house Shuttle Enterprise while waiting on a permanent display building was not ready for Hurricane Sandy to come into town.
The bubble, or enclosure if you want to call it that, was intended to provide a means to protect Enterprise from the elements and provide a viewing opportunity for the public. It works on a positive pressure concept as the structure of the bubble itself has no supports in it or rigid structure. It depends upon powerful blowers to maintain the pressure that in turn keeps the bubble inflated over Enterprise.
Well it seems the combination of the very strong winds that New York City experienced yesterday as Sandy approached and hit the city in combination with the likely loss of power onboard INTREPID combined to cause the structure to fail and collapse down on Enterprise.
You can see the aftermath of the storm and the bubbles subsequent collapse in the pictures below. A couple of the images show likely damage to the upper tail section of Enterprise.
Many thanks to the folks who took these pictures and gave me permission to use them.
Denise Chow – http://pics.lockerz.com/s/257476372
John Guzman – http://instagram.com/p/RaBgs7mWUs/
This especially hits home for me because I was just onboard the INTREPID last Wednesday during my trip to NYC to attend the Windows 8 Launch events and was inside the Space Shuttle Pavilion to see Shuttle Enterprise for the first time. It is quite surreal to now see these images of the collapsed bubble.
Here are the pictures I took of inside the pavilion.