I was amazed when Kathy and I first entered the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport. Directly before us was the incredible SR-71 Blackbird and in the distance beyond was the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Being a big fan of space flight, I just couldn't believe I was actually standing in front of this incredible (and huge) piece of American history.
This was the first Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle. It was built for flight test in the atmosphere and never flew in space. It was carried to a launch altitude on the back of a specially modified 747 where it was released and then it glided down to land at Edwards Air Force Base.