The space shuttle Enterprise will make its dramatic descent around the Washington area and into Dulles International Airport tomorrow instead of yesterday because poor weather delayed the scheduled departure yesterday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Officials said the Enterprise, a prototype of the space shuttles that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has flown into space, is scheduled to arrive atop a Boeing 747 jetliner between 1 and 2 p.m. tomorrow. Before landing, the shuttle will take a piggyback tour of Washington, flying around the Capital Beltway at an altitude of 2,000 feet.
The Enterprise has never flown in space, but it was used by NASA officials in 1977 to test the flight characteristics of space shuttles during landings at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Tuesday, the shuttle will be removed from the 747. It eventually will be housed in a new facility the National Air and Space Museum is planning at Dulles.
After leaving Cape Canaveral tomorrow morning, the Enterprise will make passes over several cities before arriving at Dulles. The itinerary of cities to be included in the tour was abruptly changed by NASA without explanation. The changes were caused by pressure from members of Congress, including Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.), who insisted that Columbia, S.C., be included in the list, according to United Press International.