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Let History Never Forget the Name Enterprise

Just as the captains of the fictional 24th century Starfleet blazed a trail among the stars, the space shuttle Enterprise helped pave the way for future space exploration. 

Fifty years ago, Star Trek debuted with the USS Enterprise as the main space-faring vessel used in much of the Star Trek universe. As such, the vessel holds a treasured place in the hearts of Star Trek fans and is as much of a character in the show as Kirk and Spock. Over three different series and a total of 14 seasons on TV and 13 feature films, the iterations of Enterprise have captured the imaginations and provided inspiration for its fans across the globe. 

This brief history of the shuttle tells the tale of humanity’s first reusable spacecraft.

Space shuttles were first built in the late 1970s and were flown in space from 1981 to 2011. Their missions ranged from helping to build the International Space Station to repairing the Hubble Space Telescope.   

It’s All In The Name

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The first shuttle was originally to be named Constitution, celebrating the country’s bicentennial and was to be unveiled to the public on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, 1976. However, a massive letter-writing campaign by Star Trek fans prompted President Gerald Ford to suggest the change. In the above photo, we see the shuttle Enterprise rolled out in Palmdale, California, with cast members of Star Trek on Sept. 17, 1976. 

To Boldly Go …

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This circular red, white and blue emblem was  the official insignia for the Space Shuttle Approach and
Landing Test flights
 and became a model for future space shuttle mission patch designs, including placing the names of the crew on the patch . The four astronauts listed on the patch are: 

  • Fred Haise., commander of the first crew 
  • Charles Fullerton, pilot of the first crew 
  • Joe Engle, commander of the second
    crew 
  • Dick Truly, pilot of the second crew 

First Impressions

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In this image, Enterprise makes its first appearance mated to its boosters as it is slowly rolled to the huge Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center. Although she never flew in space, shuttle Enterprise underwent a series of fit and function checks on the pad in preparation for the first launch of its
sister craft, Columbia.

Not Meant To Be

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Enterprise sits on Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center undergoing tests after completing its 3.5 mile journey from the VAB. Have you ever wondered why Enterprise never went into space? Converting Enterprise from a training vehicle to space-worthy one was too cost prohibitive, our engineers felt.

Engage

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Commander Fred Haise and pilot Charles Fullerton are seen in the cockpit of Enterprise prior to the fifth and final Approach and
Landing Test at Dryden Flight Research Center (Armstrong Flight Research Center). The tests were performed to learn about the landing characteristics of the shuttle.

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It’s Been An Honor To Serve With You

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The Enterprise’s two crews pose for a photo op at the Rockwell International Space
Division’s Orbiter assembly facility at Palmdale, California. They are (left to right) Charles Fullerton, Fred Haise, Joe Engle and Dick Truly.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

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On July 6, 2012, the Enterprise, atop a
barge, passes the Statue of Liberty on its way to the Intrepid Sea,
Air and Space Museum
, where is now permanently on display.

Learn more about Star Trek and NASA.

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Source: You’ll find lots of information about the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Also we have facts about the space station, ISS, SpaceX launch, space program, and outerspace. NASA

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Let History Never Forget the Name Enterprise

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