Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Enterprise - Then and Now

In 1976, NASA's space shuttle Enterprise rolled out of the Palmdale manufacturing facilities and was greeted by NASA officials and cast members from the 'Star Trek' television series.

From left to right they are: NASA Administrator Dr. James D. Fletcher; DeForest Kelley, who portrayed Dr. "Bones" McCoy on the series; George Takei (Mr. Sulu); James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); series creator Gene Rodenberry; an unnamed NASA official; and, Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov).

Art Director Matt Jefferies designed the original Enterprise. The first miniature built for the pilot episode "The Cage" was unlit and approximately 3 feet (91.4 cm) long. It was modified during the course of the series to match the changes eventually made to the larger miniature, and appears on-set in "Requiem for Methuselah". The second miniature built for the first pilot measures 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m) long and was built by Richard Datin. Initially, the model was static and had no electronics. For the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", various details were altered, and the window ports and running lights were internally illuminated, except on the port side of the model, which was left unfinished.

From Wikepedia
USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth U.S. naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed the "Big E." At 1,123 feet (342.3 m), she is the longest naval vessel in the world,[4] though her 93,500 tons displacement places her as the second heaviest supercarrier, surpassed only by the Nimitz-class. Enterprise is currently the oldest active vessel still in commission under the United States Navy, excluding the ceremonial commission of USS Constitution.

Enterprise is currently homeported at Norfolk, Virginia. As the oldest carrier in the fleet, she is scheduled for decommissioning some time in 2012-2014 depending on the life of her current reactors and when the construction of her replacement, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), is completed.[5]. Enterprise's current commanding officer is Captain Ronald Horton.


  1. Today the Shuttle Enterprise now resides in the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles in DC.

  2. Very interesting info. We were Star Trek addicts in the early 80's when we lived in the high sierras and it was on one of the only t.v. channels we could get. Loved the original cast, but never got into the newer versions.

  3. Ooops...I meant the early '70' how time is getting away from me!

  4. Love the original series. Somewhat hokey when viewed now, but what from the time period isn't?

  5. NFO - I love that museum!!! I could have spent days and days looking at everything there!
    Sharon - I was never a "trekkie" but I loved watching the show. I was in love with Captain Kirk!
    Sul - You're right, all those shows seem really backwoods when I watch them now, even the classics - I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Gilligan's Island... but I still love them!

  6. Thanks for the great post.

  7. Of the three... The Big E impresses me most. The shuttle is a marvel of technical/engineering achievement, to be sure, but so is CVN-65. And CVN-65 is a LOT more useful, if'n ya know what I mean. ;-)

  8. I know what you mean Buck!

    Thanks Rick!