Saturday, September 17, 2011

1976 - The Enterprise Revealed

United States Space Shuttle OV-101, Enterprise

35 Years ago today, September 17, 1976, after the success of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo program, as well as the joint Apollo-Soyuz and the launch of Skylab, NASA was ready to unveil the next step in the human exploration of the universe, Earth's first reusable spacecraft, the Space Shuttle.

Originally the first shuttle was going to be named "Constitution", but after a successful write in campaign from Star Trek fans around the world, President Gerald Ford, who during WWII had served on a support ship in the USS Enterprises battle group, and declaring himself rather partial to the name, personally designated the vessel, Enterprise.

Gene Roddenberry and  most of the Star Trek Cast at the opening celebration

Most of the cast of the original series, with the noticeable exception of William Shatner, along with Gene Roddnberry were guests at Rockwell's, Palmdale California plant for the opening 35 years ago today.

The Enterprise being the prototype would never go into orbit, but as a test craft it proved invaluable with improving the design for better functioning in space.

And on August 12, 1977, the Enterprise would fly solo.

The Enterprise

Suck on that George Lucas.

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