Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum :: Manhattan, New York

A Visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York will give you great insight into the military and maritime forces of the United States and their roll in the Second World War. This museum was founded in 1982 and is located on the Hudson River at Pier 86 at 46th Street on the West Side of Manhattan. It was closed for two years from 2006 for restoration and reopened in November 2008. This museum hosts the Fleet Week events held annually. The museum got its name from the World War II aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid. The exhibits include the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, the submarine, USS Growler and the supersonic reconnaissance plane, Lockheed A-12.

USS Intrepid has a very proud history. This Essex class aircraft carrier and 23 other sister ships formed the backbone of the US Navy. During the Second World War this warship survived seven bombings, five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo hit. Every time the ship came back to see action after repairs! Consequently it earned the nickname, ‘The Ghost Ship’ among the foes. After the war it was refurbished to receive jet fighters. In the 1960s it was the recovery vessel for NASA. It also saw action during the Vietnam War. After a stint of Soviet submarine tracking, USS Intrepid was retired in 1974.

Apart from the two ships and the Lockheed plane, there is a supersonic Concorde airliner formerly owned by the British Airways, a flight simulator and several other pieces of military equipment are also on display. One of the exhibits is a fighter jet on the deck of the USS Intrepid ready to take off for a military operation. There are 30 restored aircrafts in total on board. The museum officials are doing everything possible to acquire a space shuttle from NASA to go along with the Apollo capsule replica already on display. They have already contacted NASA and NASA is planning to hand off all the three space shuttles, Endeavour, Discovery and Atlantis, when the shuttle program ends in 2010. But there is competition for Intrepid Museum from many other institutions, about twenty of them, like Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. But the Intrepid Museum has already enlisted support from the legislators and former astronauts. And they have funds at their disposal too. The cost of each shuttle is estimated to be $42 million. The museum officials plan to house the shuttle in a glass enclosure.

The rates for tickets are $19.50 for adults, $15.50 for senior citizens, veterans and students, $14.50 for youths aged 6 to 17 and $7.50 for children aged 3 to 5. For children under 2, for those in active service and retired military people admission is free. A guided tour is included in the ticket. Visitors will get access to the Intrepid Carrier, the Growler and the Concorde airliner. Food service is sold on board. Smoking is prohibited on board. The tour will take about three hours. Those who hold a New York Pass get free admission to the museum. Ever since the opening in 1982 the Intrepid has remained an icon of the United States. While in New York do not miss the opportunity to visit this great unique museum.

New York City (Lonely Planet City Guide)
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