Two icons of American air and space history meet in Eric Kowalsky’s awesome photo of the Space Shuttle Enterprise flying over the Parachute Jump. On Friday, the Coney Island photographer captured the moment when the Space Shuttle flew over Brooklyn’s landmark tower.
Originally designed by retired Naval commander James Hale Strong to train military paratroopers in the 1930s, parachute towers were modified into amusement attractions when civilians clamored to ride. Strong’s Parachute Jump became a popular attraction at Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park after moving here from the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. Though the ride hasn’t been in operation since the park closed in 1964, “Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower” is an official New York City landmark.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise was the first Space Shuttle Orbiter. Named after the fictional Enterprise in “Star Trek,” it was designed to take off like a rocket and land like a plane. The Space Shuttle flew on its own for the first time in 1977 and was retired to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in 1985. Ferried by a jet, the Space Shuttle made a final, 45-minute flight over the Hudson and several New York City landmarks before landing at JFK. Its new home will be the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Manhattan’s West side.
Related posts on ATZ…
April 20, 2012: Photo of the Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter Marquee
March 23, 2012: Up for Auction: Coney Island Parachutist Shooting Gallery Target
January 18, 2012: Video of the Day: Climbing Coney Island’s Parachute Jump
December 15, 2011: Photo of the Day: Friday Night Fireworks from the Pier