The centerpiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum complex is the 900-foot Intrepid aircraft carrier, Manhattan's only floating museum. The carrier's most trying moment of service, the day it was attacked in World War II by kamikaze pilots, is recounted in a multimedia presentation. The museum faced its own trying period when forced to close for several months due to extensive flooding after 2012's Superstorm Sandy. Fortunately, the Intrepid's
unparalleled collection of aircraft was not damaged in the storm. The museum reopened in late December 2012 with a reinforced home for the space shuttle Enterprise, NASA's first prototype orbiter which joined the Intrepid in July 2012. Enterprise is temporarily housed in a climate-controlled bubble tent on the flight deck of the Intrepid, but visitors can check out plans for what will eventually be its permanent home, on the interactive wall outside the Space Shuttle Pavilion. While Enterprise never flew in space, it is presented in a dramatic darkened display with blue lighting to evoke the atmosphere of flight. Images and displays share the shuttle's history and that of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.
Docked alongside the Intrepid, and also part of the museum, is the Growler, a strategic-missile submarine. The interactive Exploreum contains 18 hands-on exhibits. You can experience a flight simulator, transmit messages in Morse code, and see what it was like to live aboard the massive carrier. Ticket booths and gift shops have been relocated to the museum's plaza while the visitor Welcome Center is being rebuilt. There are frequent ticket discounts if you purchase through the museum website.
Pier 86, W 46th St. and 12th Ave., New York, New York, 10036-4103, United States