HOUSTON – The bubble-like housing that protected Space Shuttle Enterprise collapsed overnight as Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City with wind and rain.
It wasn’t immediately confirmed if the prototype shuttle itself was damaged.
Photos on Twitter showed Enterprise’s nose and tail exposed with the collapsed housing draped over it.
Mashable reported, "Despite the loss of the protective structure, the Enterprise looks to be mostly fine, save some possible damage to the vertical stabilizer."
Susan Marenoff-Zausner, President, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, released this statement to CNN:
The rise in the Hudson River due to Hurricane Sandy caused flooding and damage to Pier 86. The pier was designed to withstand the 100 year storm. However, the unprecedented levels of water flooded the main electrical transformers and both of our backup generators.
As a result, power issues caused the Space Shuttle Pavilion to deflate. We currently are assessing the situation. The safety of our employees is most important, and when our teams are able to safely work on site, we will begin to rebuild the areas of our complex that have been affected. We are eager to reopen our doors to the public, but as of now, the Museum will be closed until further notice. Please visit www.intrepidmuseum.org for updates. We appreciate your patience and support.
As of Tuesday morning the shuttle remained exposed to the elements.
The exhibit opened July 19 on the deck of the USS Intrepid.