'Star Trek' cast
If the Enterprise name puts you in mind of a certain outer-space TV show, that's by design. Originally, the orbiter was to be called the Constitution--its final assembly occurred in 1976, the bicentennial year for the United States. But fans of the show "Star Trek" (at the time, there had been only the one, and no movies yet) mounted a write-in campaign to get the shuttle to carry the name of the show's famed starship. Thus, NASA's creation became the Enterprise.
This photo from the shuttle's rollout in September 1976, at Rockwell's Palmdale, Calif., assembly facility, is both a snapshot of the newly christened Enterprise and a time capsule of 1970s apparel. The group here includes both NASA officials and cast members from the original "Star Trek" series, pictured from left to right: James D. Fletcher, NASA administrator; DeForest Kelley (the TV show's Dr. McCoy); George Takei (Mr. Sulu); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); Gene Rodenberry (the creator of "Star Trek"); an unidentified man; and Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Checkov). The bearded fellow behind Takei and Nichols would seem to be James Doohan (Scotty from the show), but the NASA site provides no identifying information.
April 11, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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