StarDate: 21 January 2015
Veterinary technicians Peter Flowers and Marilyn Small from the National Zoo are called on to assist their colleagues at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
To scan a #SeriouslyAmazing television icon: the Starship Enterprise from the original groundbreaking television series, Star Trek, which ran on NBC for three seasons beginning in 1966. Flowers and Small used a portable radiograph machine, which normally is used to take detailed digital images of animals during exams, to give Smithsonian conservation staff a peek inside the Enterprise. The digital radiographs will help museum specialists learn more about the icon’s construction as they work to restore the model.
The 3.4 meter (11-foot) model of the fictional Starship Enterprise will go on display in the reimagined Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. Despite its short initial run (only three seasons), Star Trek became one of the most popular shows in the history of television. The show’s depiction of a mixed-sex, racially-integrated, multinational crew and its attention to contemporary social and political issues pushed the boundaries of network television, earning Star Trek a dedicated fan base that lobbied for the franchise’s continuation.
Paramount Studios donated the model to the National Collection in 1974. It will join other significant artifacts to showcase the importance of popular culture’s influence on society.
The other Enterprise
In 1976, a letter-writing campaign compelled NASA to name the inaugural (and test) space shuttle Enterprise after the fictional starship.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise was the centerpiece of the Smithsonian’s space collection at the Udvar-Hazy Center. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, would be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet was retired. On April 17, 2012, Discovery was transported by Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to Dulles from Kennedy Space Center, where it made several passes over the Washington D.C. metro area. Read more >>
Posted: 28 January 2015