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Once again life imitates art with NASA looking to Star Trek for inspiration for their new poster for the final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Check it out below, plus news on how Space Shuttle Enterprise is preparing to fly again.
The Future Begins (and Ends) for Endeavour
Space Shuttle Mission 134, slated to launch July 29th 2010 will be the final mission for Space Shuttle Endeavour and the second to last mission of the Shuttle program before the fleet is retired later this year. The mission will deliver a number of new components for the International Space Station, including the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (how is that for some Trek sounding tech?). As they do for each Mission, NASA created a special mission poster (primarily used internally) and for STS 134 they were inspired by the latest Star Trek movie, check it out.
Mission Poster for STS 134 (download at nasa.gov )
The poster is an obvious homage to the official banner posters for the 2009 Star Trek movie.
Star Trek 2009 banner which inspired NASA
In recent years NASA has created a number of these kinds of pop-culture referencing posters for Shuttle and ISS Missions, including another Trek-themed poster from one of last year’s ISS Expeditions (see previous TrekMovie report). You can see them at the NASA Space Flight Awareness Page. More info on STS 134 Wiki Page.
Shuttle Enterprise to fly again
Famously NASA’s first space Shuttle prototype was named Enterprise in 1976 after Star Trek fans successfully lobbied NASA. The Shuttle Enterprise was never actually launched into space, but was used for flight tests. The shuttle has been housed at the Smithsonian Institution since 1985. It is currently on display in an annex to the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.
Shuttle Enterprise introduced in 1976
As noted before the Space Shuttle fleet is being retired this year. According to CollectSpace, one of the orbiters that has been flown in space is expected to take the place of the Enterprise at the Udvar-Hazy Center annex, so the Enterprise will have to be moved. It has not yet been determined where it will be going, but engineers have been inspecting the Enterprise to make sure it is in ship shape and ready to again be ferried atop a modified 747.
Shuttle Enterprise in 2010 being readied to fly again
More details and images of the Enterprise can be found at collectspace.com.
Thanks to Robert Pearlman from CollectSPACE