Shuttle Enterprise To Buzz Manhattan Next Week + USS Enterprise Carrier Deployed On Final Mission |
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Shuttle Enterprise To Buzz Manhattan Next Week + USS Enterprise Carrier Deployed On Final Mission April 17, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Great Links,History,Trek Franchise , trackback

The Enterprise is about to buzz Manhattan – the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Next Monday the shuttle named by Star Trek fans moves from Washington DC to its new home in New York and on its way it will be making a low pass over the city. More details on the new home of Shuttle Enterprise and an update on the final voyage of the Navy’s USS Enterprise. 


Shuttle Enterprise To Buzz Manhattan On Move To New Home

Since 1976 when Trekkies successfully lobbied President Gerald Ford to name the first Spce Shuttle "Enterprise," the craft has had a special place in the heart of fans. Shuttle Enterprise spent the next decade doing flight testing (never going into space) and then went on an international good will tour, finally ending up at the Smithsonian in 1985. 

Star Trek cast at rollout of Shuttle event in 1976

Now that the Shuttle program is over, Shuttle Discovery (the most traveled orbiter) will be taken Enterprise’s place at the Smithsonian, so Enterprise is going on the move again. The orbiter’s next stop is New York City, where it will be displayed at the Intrepid Museum. The orbiter will be displayed on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid this summer, and eventually be moved to a special exhibition center close to the ship.

A conceptual rendering of how Space Shuttle Enterprise will be displayed on Intrepid’s flight deck, beginning Summer 2012

Possible design concept for new exhibition center with Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) as its centerpiece

The first step of Enterprise’s journey to New York will be a flight to the Big Apple on April 23rd, flying from Dulles Airport to JFK atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). And NASA just announced that the SCA 747 will be doing a low-level fly over New York. The flight is scheduled for 9:30 to 11:30 AM on Monday. To give you an idea of what to expect, check out this video from this morning of Shuttle Discovery flying over Washington DC on its way to the Smithsonian.   

Carrier Enterprise On Final Deployment

Another Enterprise is also rapidly approaching a major milestone. The US Navy’s carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) has recently been deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, joining the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. It isn’t known exactly when the ship will return to port, but it is certain that that this will be The Big E’s last mission.

USS Enterprise (CVN 65) transits the Suez Canal (April 4, 2012)

Commissioned in 1961 and the first nuclear powered carrier, the Enterprise is currently the oldest active duty ship in the US Navy. And the Navy has slated the ship to be decommissioned in 2013. There have been calls for the ship to be turned into a museum, but due to the nuclear nature this has been deemed impractical. The ship will be turned into scrap in 2015 after it is deactivated and de-fueled at Newport News Shipyard in Virginia. However, was reported that the Navy may consider preserving the ships island as a memorial.

The Navy is currently developing a new class of carrier with the first ship (The USS Gerald R. Ford) planned for 2015. That will be followed by the USS John F. Kennedy in 2018. A third carrier (CVN-80) planned for the next decade has yet to be named. While that ship is set to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, there are a couple of online petitions to get it named Enterprise.  

Artists rendition of Gerald Ford class carrier – could this be the next USS Enterprise?

TrekMovie will be keeping track of the two Enterprise’s as they make their final journey’s in 2012.




1. jello cutter - April 17, 2012

Maybe they could call the next one really,really expensive.

2. Harry Ballz - April 17, 2012

Our pal AJ lives in New York (near the Hudson River) and is going to personally witness the low pass of this historic flight.

Maybe Anthony should get him to file a report?

3. jas_montreal - April 17, 2012

The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was also in Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home :) . Nuclear Wessel !

4. Animal544 - April 17, 2012

Actually, No, CVN65 WAS NOT in ST4.

She was at sea at the time and Ranger stood in.

5. Capt.Irving - April 18, 2012

I think quotes from generations and undiscovered country suit the occasion.

Riker: I always thought I’d get a shot at this chair one day.

Picard: Perhaps you still will… somehow I doubt this will be the last ship to carry the name ‘Enterprise’.

Uhura: Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We’re to put back to Spacedock immediately…to be decommissioned.

Spock: If I were human, I believe my response would be…go to Hell. If I were human.

Chekov: Course heading, Captain?

Kirk: Second star to the right… and straight on till morning.

William Shatner voice:

These are the continuing voyages of the aircraft carrier enterprise.
It’s ongoing mission to serve the US Navy and it’s military during peace and wartimes.
To provide aid and ambassadorship to different regions and countries.
To boldly go where no sea fairing vessel has gone before…

6. Lords Of Kobol Book - April 18, 2012

I still don’t get why New York gets a shuttle, while Texas, home to Mission Control, does not.

Politics, of course. But still …

7. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - April 18, 2012

6) I agree with you, Florida, and California make sense as does the smithsonian. But New York Makes no sense at all, Texas definately should have gotten the 4th shuttle
New York has had no connection to the SHuttle program or Nasa at all.
Houston should have gotten the Enterprise, its even worse when you consider how close the enterprise and discovery are apart, where as the closest shuttles to huston are on opposite coasts

I will definately be making quite a few visits to see the envdevor here in L.A.

8. Calbz - April 18, 2012

Can i just make a note that before people start going all water eyed over the CVN-65 and contrary to the lovely quote from #5; This is a ship of war, not a ship of peace.

9. Jim, London - April 18, 2012

A ship of war that during the cold war helped keep the peace.

10. Jim - April 18, 2012

So they are sending a ship that is due to be scuttled to the Persian Gulf. Call me paranoid but wouldn’t that be a good opportunity to do another Pearl Harbour or 9/11? A pre-cursor to war?

11. SciFiJunky - April 18, 2012

@10. Jim,

The “one last mission” scenario tends not to end well in the movies! Let’s hope reality is more kind to the brave men and women serving aboard her.

12. CmdrR - April 18, 2012

Always loved that class photo of the gang.
It could be subtitled: Where No Liesure Suit Has Gone Before.

Also love De’s groovy love beads.

War with Iran? One sequel too many.

13. Brian - April 18, 2012

As a retired naval officer and former Enterprise crew member I find it ridiculous whenever I see someone saying they’re sending that ship to the Gulf so it can be sunk. The reason it’s going on this deployment is that they spent so much money on it in the shipyard to get it ready for its las deployment that they tacked on another deployment to justify the cost. The service that ship has given the country and the number of American’s who’ve served on her will most likely be overlooked by the media as she heads to decomm.

14. Douglas - April 18, 2012

I personally an very happy that the Enterprise space shuttle is going to New York City. The incredible number of tourists, both national and international, that visit that city will give representation of the nobility of space exploration to a vast number of people across a wide demographic.

15. Andy - April 18, 2012

The USS Intrepid museum is the most visited museum ship in the country. They figured that more people would be able to see it and visit it in New York then anywhere else. I mean really, who goes on vacation to Houston?

16. Andy - April 18, 2012

The USS Intrepid museum is the most visited museum ship in the country. They figured that more people would be able to see it and visit it in New York then anywhere else. I mean really, who goes on vacation to Houston?

17. I'm Dead Jim! - April 18, 2012

Kennedy Space Center has a full size shuttle mock-up outside. Maybe they can send that to Houston. I agree that Houston deserves a real shuttle but the reality is as Andy points out, it’s New York City.

Godspeed, CVN 65 Enterprise!

18. spock - April 18, 2012

Enterprise should have been sent to Houston Space Center. NY does not deserve to have a shuttle. Having lived in NY, the Intrepid Museum sucks. There is a better Museum on Long Island called the Cradle of Aviation.

19. VZX - April 18, 2012

I hope that the CVN 65 is not the last ship to bear the name Enterprise. I will sign the online petitions, but it looks like all the other carriers are named after people. The Enterprise was the only carrier that was not named after a president or military person. And it looks like it will be the last.

This sucks. I guess I will have to hope that the next generation of manned space vehicles will have one named Enterprise.

20. Gemini Barr - April 18, 2012

Looking forward to seeing this. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Intrepid museum and this will make it very worth the visit.

21. AJ - April 18, 2012



“NY does not deserve to have a shuttle.”

I’m from New York. You’re right. We do not deserve to have a shuttle. We deserve to have all the shuttles. And the aircraft carrier, to boot. ;-)

22. rm10019 - April 18, 2012

I am from NY, live on the west side as well as work on 8th ave in midtown with a full view of the flight route. Can’t wait!!

23. Sebastian S. - April 18, 2012

“Affirmative, Enterprise. Enjoy the ride and welcome home….”


24. rm10019 - April 18, 2012

18 – I saw Trek 09 at the ‘Cradle of Aviation’… and no, it does not get a Space Shuttle… lol.

25. Sebastian S. - April 18, 2012

24. By ‘home’, I mean her new home in NY, of course….

26. Magic_Al - April 18, 2012

Houston has all the shuttle simulators used in astronaut training as well as the OV-095 shuttle aviation integration laboratory, which is a working electronic duplicate of a space shuttle laid out like a vehicle but fully exposed for troubleshooting so operations in flight can be duplicated on the ground. Pretty cool, right? But apparently all that stuff is going to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Houston can be happy with their Saturn V. That’s bigger, rarer, and more significant than a space shuttle. However, Houston’s Saturn V was displayed without any protection for decades and severely deteriorated before a restoration effort was made. I’d say that was a factor in the shuttle decision except the Intrepid museum also has problems. The Concorde SST they have was supposed to be put in a protective enclosure, just as the shuttle Enterprise is required to be, but the enclosure never materialized. NASA was obviously aware of this so the Intrepid people must have said they really will get it done this time.

An interesting fact about the shuttle Enterprise’s ferry flight is that it’ll be the first time it’s left the ground and been required to have any aerodynamic or structural performance in 27 years.

Another thing to watch for is panicky New Yorkers. People freaked out when one of the presidential aircraft was given permission to buzz the city for a photo op in 2009. Because, you know, terrorists hijacking Air Force One or making a fake Air Force One is a completely plausible scenario, right? The Discovery ferry flight was allowed to violate the DC area’s no-fly zones so presumably the Enterprise will be flying where no plane has gone before (lately) as well. Let’s see how many New Yorkers think it’s a terrorist space shuttle. It could be the mirror universe Enterprise! The black tiles on the nose sort of look like a goatee!

27. Crusade2267 - April 18, 2012

I’m very excited because my office is right in the approach flight path to JFK, and right on the water, so when they bring the shuttle by barge to the Intrepid, it’ll go right by my office window. (A few years ago when they were doing renovations, I saw the barge bring the Concorde back.)

28. kjseek - April 18, 2012

I was personally hoping that the Enterprise (or at least one of the orbiters) would have ended up at Wright Patterson AFB (Because its closest to me) but as long as those orbiters are going to be seen by the public, im all for it, wherever they are. I will just have to plan another visit to the Intrepid to see the Enterprise.

As for the USS Enterprise CVN-65, I know that she is a ship of war but she functioned for many many years as a ship keeping the peace. As I recall, all incarnations of the NCC-1701 have “fired phasers and loaded torpedos” on numerous occasions. I hope that she is given a proper sendoff to honor her service and, of course, to honor all of the men and women that served aboard her. I also hope that there will be another Enterprise serving our country soon!!

29. Adam Bomb 1701 - April 18, 2012

I always found it a bit odd that William Shatner never came to the rollout of space shuttle Enterprise, whereas Leonard Nimoy did. At the time, Mr. Nimoy was perceived as trying to distance himself from Spock, due to the publication in 1975 of “I Am Not Spock.” We know now that wasn’t true; he embraced the character both then and now. I don’t know what Shatner was doing that prevented him from attending. Does anyone? And, check out the late Jimmy Doohan’s beard in the pic. No. 12’s comments about leisure suits amused me. My dad wore a leisure suit to my college graduation back in May, 1976. I’ll bet he kept that thing for years.

30. Lyle - April 18, 2012


Actually, the US Navy has had a number of aircraft carriers in the past that were not named after a “president or military person” – the previous USS Enterprise (CV-6) comes to mind, but there have been many others – US Navy ship naming conventions tend to change over time. For example, our submarines used to be named after various species of fish but now they are named for cities and states. After CVN-65 is decommissioned, we may go a few years without an Enterprise in the fleet but I’m sure there will eventually be another one.

Personally, I wish CVN-65 was going to be a museum ship.

31. Brandon - April 18, 2012

17 – That’s exactly what’s going on. They’ve already moved Explorer from the KSCVC and will be transporting it to JSC via a barge here in the immediate future for display.

32. Jonathan - April 18, 2012

No one goes to New York to see a space shuttle next to a strip club, Houston should have got Enterprise!

33. I'm Dead Jim! - April 18, 2012

@31 Thanks for the reminder, Brandon! I was at KSCVC back in `95 and forgot that it was named Explorer.

34. TrekkerChick - April 18, 2012


Good point. The naming convention was, literally, all over the map…Naming for actual individuals is, basically, a relatively recent development — although, you could point out that the very first US aircraft carrier was named for a person (albeit, not a person in the military): CV-1…the USS Langley. The next was the USS Randolph (CV-15) – commissioned during WW2.

It is going to be sad to see the Big “E” meet the same fate as her predecessor-in-name…the scrapyard.

As long as there’s a discussion about which museums should have gotten the orbiters, the National Museum of the Air Force would have been a proper fit given the amount of involvement that the armed forces (in general) and the USAF (in particular) had in the design and development of the STS — and, the US space program from even before NASA was an ‘official’ (okay.. a successor to the NACA) government agency.

35. rm10019 - April 18, 2012

They come to NY for the Strip Clubs, but STAY for the Enterprise. Suck it 32 :) lol just kidding!

36. TrekkerChick - April 18, 2012


“My dad wore a leisure suit to my college graduation back in May, 1976. I’ll bet he kept that thing for years.”

LOL TrekkerChick is feeling very old after reading that statement. I graduated high school (not too far from, then-Rockwell International’s headquarters, and not an unreasonable distance from the assembly facility in Palmdale, CA) that year, and remember seeing polyester leisure suits, puka shell necklaces, mood rings, big jewelry, platform shoes… and that was what the GUYS were wearing.

37. Ben - April 18, 2012

If I’m not mistaken, the “Pathfinder” mock-up that was at KSC is being taken to the Johnson Space Center. I believe had an article on the move which will occur next year.

38. Orb of the Emissary - April 18, 2012

“Let’s make sure that history never forgets… the name… Enterprise.” -Capt. Picard, ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’- TNG

39. sisko - April 18, 2012

Captain James T. Kirk: Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no *one* has gone before.

40. AJ - April 18, 2012

Monday weather in here in NYC calls for rain. I hope they’ll still do the flyover.

I imagine they’ll come up straight from DC, bank right and follow the Hudson by the Intrepid (49th st.) on the way south toward the Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower (Ground Zero). Then they’ll do the usual approach into JFK, flying out over the Atlantic, do a 180, and do final approach. Just a guess.

I’ve flown into JFK a zillion times, and the approach from the ocean is typical. I’m hoping they’ll be visible over the GW Bridge straight out to the Verrazano.

41. Newman - April 18, 2012

I’ve always wanted to see Enterprise CVN-65, especially now that I’ve joined the Canadian Navy.

42. Magic_Al - April 18, 2012

^37. “Pathfinder” is at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, near Marshall Space Flight Center where it was built and used to fit-check test facilities prior to using the expensive and delicate Enterprise. It was eventually given a cosmetic upgrade to look more like a real shuttle but it’s really steel and wood and has no crew cabin. As currently displayed it’s the only full-size shuttle launch stack in the world, mounted on real prototypes of the External Tank and Advanced Solid Rocket Boosters. The Explorer replica at KSC, which is moving to Houston, was purpose-built for visitors and has an accessible mock-up interior, which may offer Houston visitors a more interactive experience since it’s hard to imagine they’d regularly allow people inside Atlantis at KSC. Explorer is being moved by barge since it’s not built to fly and attempting to ride the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft would likely produce a high-fildelity, in-situ mock-up of Columbia’s debris field across the southern U.S.

43. CmdrR - April 18, 2012

13 – I’m in the media. Send me a link to something vetted (that is, from the Pentagon or AP or CNN or ABC) that offers stats on the Enterprise, and I’ll squirrel it away. All I promise is that IF I get to write that story, the folks of Atlanta will have some of that info.

The Media: We’re not bad. We’re just drawn that way.

44. Kev -1 - April 18, 2012

I’m glad to see the shuttle in New York. Agreed that Florida and Texas have a more direct connection, though. They might have been better served by a shuttle that actually flew in space. Enterprise flew atmospheric tests only. That shuttle was named Enterprise after the fictional ship (due to a campaign) and New York served as epicenter of Star Trek’s resurgence (the 1972 convention, and many more) so in a way it’s fitting. More importantly, Grumman in Long Island manufactured the Lunar Module for NASA. Many people will see it here, though.

45. dep1701 - April 18, 2012

Maybe it’s just because I’m listening to a lovely but melancholy piece of Jerry Goldsmith Trek soundtrack music as I’m reading this, but news about the final voyages of these two ‘Enterprises’ gives me a general feeling of sadness. I felt similarly when the end of the shuttle program was announced.

The end of the shuttle program wouldn’t be so sad if there had been new manned space exploration project ready to take it’s place. I know that robots and drones are more practical and cost effective, but I don’t like taking the “man” out of “Manned” space exploration…”Where no MAN has gone before…y’know? ( and I am speaking of ‘man’ in the sense of human, not gender specificity ).

On a more Trek-O-Centric note; CVN-65 1961-2012…that’s 51 years. Roddenberry was right when he protested the decommissioning of NCC-1701 after only “20 years” in “The Search For Spock”. Of course, that number can be debated, since the ship was much older than that according to the series, but maybe Bennett was thinking of the time since the refit ( which would make a little more sense, since Kirk says in “Wrath Of Khan” that he hasn’t seen Khan in 15 years )

46. Crusade2267 - April 18, 2012

You know, I have high hopes that we’ll see a resurgance in space sooner than we think. Remember in 2005 when Enterprise went off the air and Nemesis was such a flop that there was no way there would be another Trek film? Nothing was coming down the pike. No new Trek was on the horizon to replace Enterprise. Lots of people thought the franchise was dead. Just a few years later, some new blood came in, and revived it.

Perhaps the end of the shuttle program will be similar. Sure, things look bleak right now, but in a few years, who knows what’ll happen, what exciting things may occur.

Like I say, high hopes.

47. D - April 18, 2012

I’m pretty sure the Navy will name another vessel Enterprise. It may not be an aircraft carrier, but the Navy has a long tradition of using the same names, and Enterprise is an honored name. In fact, I believe the only name they’ve never re-used is Constitution, and they actually had Constitution officially “re-named” in their database at one point to be the “Old Constitution” so they could name a new ship under that name, only to return her name back to the vessel after the planned ship was never completed.

As for the Enterprise test article ending up on the Intrepid…watch out for Amoebas…

48. Captain_Conrad - April 18, 2012

Screw the next Carrier being named Enterprise! It would be more appropriate to name a Coast Guard National Security Cutter that name. We have five more planned, with next to be called the Hamilton (WMSL-753). I say we get a petition for WMSL-754 to be Enterprise!

If the Navy still wants the name, they can have it since the designation of a Cutter named Enterprise would be USCGC Enterprise.

49. Chain of Command - April 18, 2012

I think it can safely be said that there will be another Navy ship named “Enterprise”. The carrier from WWII is one of the most decorated ships in US Naval history and it’s successor is pretty illustrious in its’ own right (Fifty years of service!). I’ve no doubt that there will be another “Big E” in the future.

50. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - April 18, 2012


Lord I hope so. She was the hero carrier of WWII
She was the Hero carrier of the Cold War

51. Lt. Bailey - April 18, 2012

Sad fate for such a gallant ship with a long history of peace and war. It deserves better than just being scrapped or sunk and turned in to a reef. While I understand the concerns regarding radioactivity, it still breaks my heart to see that. As a military man, it strikes me as a waste of a good ship regardless of how old it is.

I really do hope that we will always have a ship named ENTERPRISE serving in our fleet.

52. Thorny - April 18, 2012

Sadly, Houston went into the “Shuttle Retirement Home” competition with a sense of entitlement… “We’re Houston, we deserve a Shuttle just because.” By the time they realized they weren’t going to automatically get a Shuttle, they had to rush to put together museum and funding proposal. They were far behind others, like Intrepid, and, well, their proposal was half-hearted at best. Kennedy Space Center had as much of a ‘just because’ justification as Houston, but they prepared for years, putting together a spectacular plan anyway, and they won a Shuttle (Atlantis.) Houston ranked fifth on the list, from what was published last year, behind the Air Force Museum (which also was a very unimpressive proposal, but they had a much better reputation for preserving historic artifacts than Houston) and about even with Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Houston not only didn’t get a Shuttle, they lost their simulator to Seattle and other things are going to Chicago. The lesson here is don’t rest on your laurels. If you want something, fight for it.

53. Thorny - April 18, 2012

Last I read, there are two petitions for naming the third Ford-class carrier. One is “Enterprise” and the other is “Arizona”. I always thought the wrecked Arizona was still on the Navy books (like the “Old Ironsides” Constitution) but it isn’t.

54. CAPT KRUNCH - April 18, 2012

Scrap the Big E!!! shouldn’t she be preserved after 50+ years in service!

yeah..where was SHAT at the rollout….sadly he really didn’t know Enterprise!

55. Thorny - April 18, 2012

I think Mr. Shatner was off filming 1977’s “Kingdom of the Spiders.”

56. AJ - April 18, 2012

For those in the area hoping to catch the Enterprise orbiter prototype on her final voyage, try this site, Spaceflight Now:

It has live updates on the status of all the space shuttle transfers.

57. PEB - April 18, 2012

“And sir, it is the Enterprise.”

someone else probably already posted it, but oh well

58. Dgaona - April 18, 2012

Looks like an iPad in De’s hand in that pic

59. Dekker - April 18, 2012

I can’t wait for the new USS Enterprise, and it should be the new flagship of our fleet!

I only hope we get to see a bottle of champagne flying through the air on its way to christening her, with all the fanfare, music, pomp and pageantry a ship of her significance deserves.

60. Sebastian S. - April 18, 2012

Next time I’m in NY, I definitely plan to take a look….

61. T'Cal - April 18, 2012

I blame the corruption that is synonymous with Chicago for my city not getting one. Otherwise, having one of the historic shuttles in the midwest makes a lot of sense.

62. T'Cal - April 18, 2012

As for the picture from 1977 with most of the actors there to see Enterprise off, I had always hoped Roddenberry or one of Trek’s better writers would slip that into a film or TV show with the explanation that the characters were back in time to ensure the first starship Enterprise got on her way as history intended.

I had the good fortune to see Enterprise in D.C. a few summers ago. I got misty…

63. Christopher Miles - April 18, 2012

I agree with @26

Houston does have an awful lot of Shuttle gear that can be turned into a museam – and there is an awful lot of support gear that can be consolodated there too.

Also Houston has some experimental stuff hiding in hangers- like the X-38, etc.

Finally, there was a competition process. Houston did not put in the time to put together a bid, as did other cities, with, actual current, operating, aerospace oriented museums did.

This has been well documented.

For anyone without a car, or anyone on a trip to the US- the Intrepid may be the only way to see a shuttle. By the way, given the role that the Navy had in NASA support in the 60’s I think that parking the Enterprise near an Air Craft Carrier makes good sense- especially since The Intrepid had supported NASA ops since ’62

Oh, and Houston… You benefit by still having the Space JOBS. (Space Station support, etc) Don’t begrudge Kennedy it’s shuttle- or other areas which weren’t fortunate enough to have had an actual Space presence.

Heck, here in Philly, all we have is a little LEM model at our science museum, and no one gets excited about that- But kids on a trip to NYC getting to see a Shuttle and perhaps be a bit inspired? That’s a good thing.

64. montreal_paul - April 18, 2012

I was lucky enough to see the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the World’s Fair in New Orleans in 1984. Couldn’t get over how big that thing was! Was spectacular seeing it in person!

65. Len Krieger - April 18, 2012

Let’s make sure history never forgets the name, Enterprise! LETS ALL SIGN THAT PETITION

66. Red Dead Ryan - April 18, 2012

Is there really no way of preserving the aircraft carrier Enterprise without scrapping it? I’d have to think that perhaps the area around the engine room could be sealed off to prevent visitors from being exposed to radiation.

67. TrekkerChick - April 18, 2012


Presuming it is the same as with the nuclear subs, they have to cut the ship open to remove the to-be-disposed-of radioactive sections (incl. spent fuel) to be shipped-off for disposal.

Would imagine that this is orders of magnitude more complex than for a sub.

68. Magic_Al - April 18, 2012

For some reason CVN-65 has 8 nuclear reactors, 6 more than any other ship. Most of the hull will be destroyed in the process of removing those.

69. Lt. BAILEY - April 18, 2012

According to my connections in the Naval Ship Construction area. They cannot leave the reactors in the ship so they must take them out and that entails cutting the sides of the ship to get them out. Then there is not way to re-seal the cuts without a major cost. No one is willing to pay for that if if was offered as a museum ship. Even though I am in the Army,, my family has serve the Navy for generations and this really bothers me.

Another aspect of this is the Shuttle ENT….

I was very happy back then to have the first one named Enterprise, but it in retrospect, us fans cut our own throats. We should have waited and had the second or third etc, named Enterprise so we could always say the ENT flew in space instead of just atmospheric tests for landing.

70. TrekkerChick - April 18, 2012


Ans: Proven-design power plants from nuclear subs.

71. Thorny - April 18, 2012

69… Enterprise was supposed to fly in space at the time of the Star Trek fan letter-writing campaign in 1976. The plan changed circa 1978 when it was decided a structural test article would be cheaper and easier than Enterprise to upgrade for spaceflight (Enterprise would have needed the hull cracked open to modify the crew compartment, the STA was already open). The STA was also about 5,000 lbs. lighter than Enterprise and would be capable of launching heavier cargo. So Enterprise was relegated to test duty and the STA upgraded into a full Shuttle… the Challenger.

72. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 18, 2012

Don’t worry 69. Lt. BAILEY.

I am sure that America’s first Warp capable Starship will be entitled Enterprise.

73. Daoud - April 18, 2012

Florida is the resting place of Challenger.
Texas is the resting place of Columbia.
For what it’s worth…. that has more meaningful value than the display of a museum piece.
CVN-65 like other retired carriers will be sunk in the Gulf to create a reef for marine creatures. It’s not a terrible thing.
Also, Enterprise has 8 reactors unlike other ships, because Enterprise is unique. The Big E 65 is a unique vessel. Kinda like the NCC-1701-JJ we have now, eh?

74. Adam Cohen - April 18, 2012

I’ll be there- “working” out of my company’s NYC office.

I hope the weather treats us well.

75. Death Machine - April 18, 2012

Pardon me for being frank, but if the Trek “fans” at the time (1976) had any sense whatsoever, they’d have let NASA name OV-101 the Constitution like they had PLANNED on doing, and then lobbied them and the President to name the next one (which would be the first to go into orbit) the Enterprise. After all, It was called the “Constitution” class…the first starship of that class was the Constitution and the second was the Enterprise, so it would have made so much more sense, but oh, well…

Never ceases to amaze me how many so-called “fans” there are out there for so many different movies, shows, etc and yet so many of them can’t even remember things such as that or lines of dialog they “quote” incorrectly constantly.

Yep, I just love it when Kirk says, “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Oh, wait….that’s right…he didn’t ever actually say that, did he?

76. ME!! - April 18, 2012

Hey, “Daoud”, the Navy will never put a nuclear carrier at the bottom of the Gulf any more than they’d make one into a museum.

If it were as simple as taking the reactor out in order to sink it, then why wouldn’t they consider that to make it into a museum instead as everyone wants them to?

77. ME!! - April 18, 2012

“Reactors”, I know. I was making a point…

78. AJ - April 18, 2012


The only real ‘canon’ we have of the USS Enterprise being the second ship in the fleet would be speculative based on the Technical Manual and Blueprints released by Franz Joseph in 1975.

We knew by “Tomorrow is Yesterday” that the United Earth Space Probe Agency had “only twelve like it in the fleet” (I think it was twelve).

Yes, it was listed as being under repair during “Courtmartial,” but the relationship of NCC-1700 to 1701 is only made outside of canon.

The TOS films tend to reference the FZ blueprints on their readouts, but before we split hairs with starships, it’s important to remember 1974.

Star Trek was booming in syndication, and no fans knew what a “Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser” was until after 1975, and then it was still not canon, and largely ignored. We had no Internets for quick fan discussions of the topic, and letter-writing campaigns were done with pens, paper, envelopes and stamps.

You’d better go back and hit the books. And leave the Trek books alone for awhile. Go read some history instead.

79. Jerry Modene - April 18, 2012

#62 – that clip actually shows up in the opening credits of “Enterprise” – although they only show Enterprise emerging from the hangar at Edwards, and cut it before we see Leonard, De, Walter, George, Nichelle, Gene, et al.

As for CVN65’s final fate – well, the TOS/TMP/WOK Enterprise was on *its* final mission but never made it home – perhaps CVN65’s captain could figure out a way for the Big E to go out in a blaze of glory, maybe taking a few terrorists with it. ;)

80. boborci - April 18, 2012

Watch out for Enterpise being “attacked” by Iran like Gulf of Tonkin incident.

81. K-7 - April 18, 2012

Wouldn’t it be cool if they crashed the shuttle Enterprise into the Carrier Enterprise, and then you see all this fire smoke and can’t see anything, and then all of sudden, out of the smoke and ashes, you see the Starship Enterprise heading up towards space! WOW!!!!!

82. K-7 - April 18, 2012

Mr, Orci, so you don’t provide one bit of info on the new movie, but we have to here your twisted world view stuff? It’s like running into Santa, but instead of taking about Christmas, he’s on the crapper reading out loud his horoscope from the newspaper.

Really Mr. Orci? Really?

83. AJ - April 18, 2012


We’ll all get into our fishing boats to get out and help! Who here can handle the nukes?

Or shall we do what the the Russians did in 1965 with the “Lenin” and dump the reactors into the sea? Only difference would be, I believe, the Lenin’s were going critical, and they were hastily contained in some kind of vessels before being dumped into the Barents Sea up near Novaya Zemlya.

The Lenin is also now a ‘museum.’

The Russian Atomflot docking facility in Murmansk is a nuclear mess as well, as the garbage scows trawling the Northern Sea Route, and collecting the nuke waste of the Russian Icebreaker Fleet (6 big beauties) from the sea are not exactly state-of-the-art. I got to see all this first hand in 1992 on a great summer job. Those scows are totally radioactive (I got to spend 48 hours right next to one, the “Lepse”).

Responsibility is paramount in how we deal with the 8 reactors on board Enterprise.

This article is from a VERY anti-nuclear Norwegian group. Research the fleet, and the ships are actually damn cool.

84. Vultan - April 18, 2012

Here’s a story 60 Minutes did about SpaceX and its CEO Elon Musk a few weeks ago. It’s an interesting look at the current state of space flight now that the shuttle program is over:

85. Vultan - April 19, 2012

Now that the Constellation Program has been cancelled and the Obama administration has chosen to invest in private companies, we’re in kind of a vague, unnamed era of manned spaceflight. Think about it. Before, you could always point to NASA and describe in one or two words what they were doing: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab, Shuttle, Space Station. But now there’s really no name to it. No face. No identity.

What’s the answer? Well, that’s easy.

Why settle for a measly shuttle. Let’s name a whole new era of spaceflight after our ship!

86. Jim - April 19, 2012

Interesting to see Boborci is thinking along the same lines as me. #13 Brian. You made my point for me. It is exactly that which would make it shocking if Enterprise was “attacked”.

87. Mark Lynch - April 19, 2012


I think he did say it once and once only…

Star Trek 4, just before Dr Gillian Taylor jumped into Kirk’s arms to trick him into beaming aboard the cloaked Klingon cruiser, parked in Golden Gate Park.

If I’m right, do I get a prize? :)

88. Mark Lynch - April 19, 2012

Never mind my last comment. He actually said “Scotty, beam me up.”

Close, but no cigar as they say.

89. Gorn Captain - April 19, 2012

In one of the novels set before TMP, Kirk takes a ride into orbit on the Space Shuttle Enterprise, which by the 23rd century has become a flying museum piece with modern propulsion. So the New York gig is only temporary. ;)

There’s a great picture of the TOS cast at the Enterprise rollout here, as well as a photo of the Enterprise sitting on the launch pad at Vandenberg AFB in California.
Had they not abandoned the idea of west coast shuttle launches, I could have seen them from in front of my house. :(

90. CmdrR - April 19, 2012

Still patiently waiting for a saucer-nacelle dealio to carry that name.

91. Magic_Al - April 19, 2012

Watching the shuttle Enterprise being towed to the shuttle carrier aircraft right now.

92. Robert H. - April 19, 2012

Ironically that was originally how the space shuttle was suppose to have been launched. On the back of a space plane. But NASA thought the development was too expensive and so used the external fuel tank concept. Not exactly great minds there since when you get down to it the total number of space shuttle fuel tanks disposed of is probably greater than the cost of developing the space plane.

Maybe the article in the recent Popular Science will correct that problem.

93. Schiefy - April 19, 2012

#28–I agree that the Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB would have been an ideal location for one of the shuttles since Dayton was home to the Wright Brothers, houses a fine collection on the history of manned flight, and would have been more centrally located and accessible for those of us in the mid-section of the country, and best of all, the Museum is free!

I really don’t understand (apart from politics) why none of the shuttles made it somewhere between the coasts rather than ALL of them on the east or west coast! Considering today’s economics it would have been a nice gesture toward people who are unable to afford the travel distance to any of the selected locations if they live in the center of this great nation. Thankfully, the various Trek exhibitions have passed through areas close enough for my family budget!!

94. Thorny - April 19, 2012

73… Challenger’s wreckage is in a former Minuteman test silo at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Columbia’s wreckage is stored in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

79. That is actually footage of Endeavour’s rollout from the Rockwell factory in 1991. Paramount airbrushed out “Endeavour” and painted in “Enterprise”. You can tell by the nose section that she isn’t really Enterprise.

95. NuFan - April 19, 2012


We had to read about that last month!

96. Paul - April 19, 2012

Why is it that only place shuttles would go is in america and not England the British considered us for Concorde so why is it we can’t give them enterprise I think they should take the Concorde’s back to England British Airways as they’ve been pushed a side for the shuttles.

97. Magic_Al - April 19, 2012

^96. England gets the Drax Industries shuttle Moonraker, and the space shuttle Churchill from the movie Lifeforce.

98. Phil - April 19, 2012

@85. Don’t you mean Free Enterprise?

99. Phil - April 19, 2012

Sorry Bob, but the USS Abraham Lincoln is already in the Persian Gulf. There really isn’t any incentive for the Iranians to try to bloody the American’s nose by attacking any one surface ship, and they don’t have the resources to take out the 5th Fleet. They may be crazy, but they are not stupid. If there is an upside to the information age, pulling off a “Gulf of Tonkin” fabrication is almost impossible. A Blackhawk went down in Afghanastan today, and it made national news immediately. With enough “Arab Spring” flashpoints in the ME in the last 14 months, there isn’t any lacking pretext for military intervention without having to make one up.

100. Thorny - April 19, 2012


19 Concordes.
4 Shuttles.

The U.S. museums and their taxpaying benefactors that lost to a museum in Europe would have been out for politicians’ blood.

101. Vultan - April 19, 2012


I do, but “Enterprise” sounds better. “Free Enterprise” is a little wordy, like “Operation Enduring Freedom” (Yeesh! Who names those things?).

102. Xplodin_Nacelle - April 19, 2012

I wish Endeavour had been named Enterprise, since it was the newest, & most advanced shuttle of the fleet, a.k.a. -“the flagship”. Additionally it was able to actually fly in space which would’ve helped reignite public excitement following the Challenger disaster.

P.S. I love the dedication to the Challenger crew at the beginning of ST 4.

103. Ctrl-Opt-Del - April 19, 2012

@72. TrekMadeMeWonder – “I am sure that America’s first Warp capable Starship will be entitled Enterprise.”

Assuming another country doesn’t beat you to FTL & jack the name ;-)

104. Ctrl-Opt-Del - April 19, 2012

Don’t mean to sound like a doom sayer, but the scrap value of the steel from the USS Enterprise is far less than the cost to decommission the reactors…

It would be in the US Navy’s financial interests if something “unfortunate” happened that would only spread fallout over hostile or potentially hostile nations…

Jus’ sayin’

105. Phil - April 19, 2012

@104. Uh, no it wouldn’t. Last I checked the USN was not discarding it’s used reactors in hostile foreign countries.

106. boborci - April 19, 2012

82. Lol! Fair enough.

107. boborci - April 19, 2012

104. Yup

108. Phil - April 19, 2012

@106. Not so much a twisted world view, but an alternate reality, perhaps? Cheers!! :-)

109. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 19, 2012

Yeah, Bob. You would think it wwould happen on the 19th considering recent history. What ever happended to the Alert Sytem.

Yellow Alert!

110. AJ - April 19, 2012

Any pilot-types here who can guess how low the 747 with Enterprise will be flying when it hits NYC? The DC footage up top makes it tough to tell. I live literally right across the Hudson river from Intrepid, so it will be a key stop.

I’m worried if I am right on the Hudson, I’ll only see the bottom of the 747’s hull,and miss the better view I may get farther away on higher ground (but with no skyline view)

Also, they’re expecting rain, so I’d assume the ceiling will play some sort of role.

111. Bob - April 19, 2012

The next carrier should USS Enterprise, with registry CVN 65-A. Hopefully its lifetime will be as decorated as that of its predecessor.

112. MJ - April 19, 2012

The Ender’s Game release date has been pushed back by eight months.

Sounds familiar…..

113. corvette king - April 19, 2012

Its too bad they’ll decommission it. It was the first of its kind. My children have been to shuttle Enterprise, The Midway Carrier, Intrepid in NYC, and we’ve been to the Johson space center. What an experience!

My 7 year old said to me, “there are a lot of museums where ever we go Daddy”. It got me thinking that my children are living in a country that is turning into one big museum. I am concerned that imagination and exploration is drifting from our collective contiousness and our kids today will live out their lives in a country that will lose its most precious gift. The first hand experience, that incredible feeling of accomplishment and the pride we take in touching the universe.

My kids have learned about Orion now. We went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC a few weeks ago. I ask you all to please write to your congressmen and beg them not to cut this project too. Its the last manned mission on the books.

Thanks All!

114. Jim - April 20, 2012

#99 The point is that the American Government would do it themselves and blame the Iranians.

115. MJ - April 20, 2012

@114. LOL Crackpot!!!

116. Underhill - April 20, 2012

We don’t need to unload our nuclear reactors in the ME. We’ve already dumped tons of DU in Iraq and Afghanistan without drawing much attention.

117. Thorny - April 20, 2012

113… Kill Orion. We don’t need it. All we need is a small spacecraft to get our astronauts from the ground to low earth orbit. We’ve been lobbing astronauts into low orbit for 50 years and change now, we no longer need a huge government-run program to do that. SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada all have very good commercial candidates for that job (Blue Origin might, too, but they aren’t publicity hounds like SpaceX, so nobody but NASA knows the details.) Tell Congress to let NASA get out of the yeoman’s duty of Earth-to-LEO ferry flights and concentrate on exploration. Let NASA build a (relatively) big, fully reusable deep space vessel like Nautilus-X (and name the first one “Enterprise”). Mega-rockets like SLS and non-reusable capsules like Orion are Apollo 2.0 and will suffer the same fate: cancellation talk as soon as the first mission is over.

118. Thorny - April 20, 2012

110… They won’t fly in rain.

119. Jim - April 20, 2012

@115 LOL, so is Boborci I guess. :P

120. Magic_Al - April 20, 2012

Over 26 years after being delivered to Dulles the same way, Space Shuttle Enterprise was reunited with its original flying partner N905NA last night.

121. Buzz Cagney - April 20, 2012

Fear not the name Enterprise is still worn by a naval vessel. HMS Enterprise isn’t quite so grand as CVN 65 but, well, she’s got the right name. And i’ve sat in the Captain’s chair and yes, it was a major rush!

122. Red Shirt Diaries - April 20, 2012

@121. That little dinghy (as compared to the aircraft carrier) should be called “Galileo 7″. :-)

123. MJ - April 20, 2012

@119. Yep, where politics and worldview are concerned — you broke the code, my friend! Some of the best artists around are crackpots on other topics not central to their work.

124. Thorny - April 20, 2012

Space Shuttle Enterprise’s ferry flight to New York City has been postponed due to a bad weather forecast for Monday. No new date has been set.

125. CoffeeProf - April 20, 2012

This is how it should have happened.

Discovery: Smithsonian (obvious reasons)

Atlantis: KSC (obvious reasons)

Endeavour: JSC (The Space Shuttle was conceived there. Every astronaut has been trained there. All the shuttle flights were planned and trained for there. Every manned spaceflight since Gemini has been controlled there. I could go on…..)

Enterprise: California (The ALT flights took place there.)

126. MJ - April 20, 2012

@125. No, I don’t think so. All of the Shuttles were built in Los Angeles, so we certainly deserve one of the ones that went into space. As much as I like Trek, I want a “real” shuttle here in SoCal where they were built.

127. Buzz Cagney - April 20, 2012

#122 lol she might be small but her role is far more that of the Starship Enterprise than the Carrier Enterprise is, which is very much a man o’ war. And a damned fine man o’ war at that mind you.

128. Thorny - April 20, 2012

Houston had that “we’re entitled” thing going on and put far less effort into their Shuttle plans than most everyone else. That came back to bite them in their rear ends, and then the Texas politicians started crying and blaming Obama (who by all accounts wasn’t the least bit interested in any of this.) If New York declined or was disqualified, the Air Force Mueum in Dayton was the runner up, not Houston.

129. AJ - April 20, 2012

Latest update with video from NBC news (photo of ENT on board the 747)

130. Vultan - April 20, 2012

From NASA, a beautiful (but sad) photo of Discovery:

131. Buzz Cagney - April 20, 2012

The shuttle actually paid a visit to England once, which was nice given that we lost that one in Moonraker!

I guess thats Enterprise? It doesn’t say in the article.

132. Thorny - April 21, 2012

132. It was indeed Enterprise.

133. LazarusNine - April 22, 2012

@84 (Vultan): Thank you for sharing that video. That was really inspiring. I used to be completely against the idea of privatised space flight thinking that capital greed was the only thing fuelling these kinds of projects. Elon Musk has proven me so very wrong. I wish SpaceX all the best, and I hope the future of manned space flight is that much closer as a result.

134. Jerry Modene - April 22, 2012

#94 – thank you. Still, wouldn’t it have been cool if they *had* shown our people at the Enterprise rollout? Or would that have introduced too many time paradoxes?

It’s like that article in Best of Trek some years ago that tried to explain why nobody recognized Kirk and crew in 1986 San Francisco. The writers used some rather convoluted reasoning to explain why Star Trek never existed in the Star Trek universe.

135. Thorny - April 22, 2012

Enterprise’s flight to New York City is now scheduled for No Earlier Than Wednesday, 25 April.

136. AJ - April 23, 2012

From the Ferryflight Status Center at

“MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

If the weather cooperates as forecasters expect, the space shuttle Enterprise will take her piggyback ferryflight ride from Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital to the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on Wednesday morning.

Officials held the Ferryflight Readiness Review today and set Wednesday as the target date, weather permitting. The next briefing on weather conditions will be conducted Tuesday morning.

“A large region of low pressure dominating the East Coast has made it difficult to reliably predict an acceptable day for the flight,” NASA said.

The exact route and timing for the ferryflight will depend on weather and operational considerations. Officials say the trip will occur between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT.”

137. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - April 23, 2012

Boborci i love your work but i dont care to hear your liberal overtones!

138. Boborci - April 23, 2012

137. i dont think you can so easily call me a liberal.

139. Thorny - April 24, 2012

Enterprise’s flight to New York City is now scheduled for No Earlier Than Friday, 27 April.

140. Vultan - April 24, 2012


You’re welcome. The real thanks should go to 60 Minutes.

I had a similar feeling before watching that segment. But now the future looks a bit brighter, doesn’t it?

141. Phil - April 24, 2012

@140. Agreed….

142. dmduncan - April 24, 2012

@137: Holster your gun, Quickdraw. Bob strikes me as being more libertarian than liberal. How many liberals question APGW?

143. Phil - April 24, 2012

@137. I have no issue at all listening to Liberal, Libertarian or any other view points that may differ from my own. Reasoned introspection of these positions either strengthens what I believe or gives me reason to re-evaluate based on new information.

Of course, this completely disqualifies me from running for public office, where strict adhearance to political dogma is a requirement these days….

144. Vultan - April 24, 2012


Ha! Well put, Phil.
American politics in a nutshell.

145. Dr.Diehard - April 25, 2012

Re: OV-101

USS Intrepid (CV-11 not NCC-1631) has gone through a multi-year repair (they even hauled her out and gave her hull a good scrape/baryon sweep) and is one of the most heavily visited museums in the country. I’m a big fan of naval museums and I know that Intrepid’s sister USS Yorktown (CV-10 not NCC-1717) hasn’t fared as well as well, so I think Enterprise is getting a prime spot (I did see her in the Udvar-Hazy Center which is the most prestigious aviation museum in the world and OV-103 really belongs there, I think the number two place really is CV-11 and I’ve never even been north of Udvar-Hazy.

Re: CVN-65
Yeah, all the “mobile Chernobyl” talk is a bunch of crap. Another reason (besides the one mentioned above about the money spent on the last deployment) is that the Navy will have one fewer carrier available until CVN-78 is ready (which I think won’t be for another few years?) so this will be the last time in a bit that we’ll have an 11 carrier fleet. The nuclear problem really does prohibit her as a museum (and truth be told, I think we have hit a cap on the number of museum ships we can support). So, like her illustrious predecessor (CV-6), she’ll go to the scrappers while we all wipe a tear in our eyes. I’m all for CVN-80 to carry the name Enterprise.

146. AJ - April 26, 2012


“Weather forecasters are predicting windy but acceptable conditions to transport the space shuttle Enterprise atop the modified Boeing 747 aircraft from Northern Virginia to New York City on Friday morning, with low-altitude flybys of the Big Apple planned for landing at JFK. “

147. AJ - April 26, 2012

Full Flight Path

148. Phil - April 26, 2012

Cool. Will need to make sure I’m in LA when our shuttle arrives later in the year.

149. AJ - April 26, 2012


150. AJ - April 27, 2012

9:41 AM, ENT is airborne from Dulles.

151. Phil - April 27, 2012

Shatner isn’t getting a lot of love from CNN….

152. AJ - April 27, 2012

Absolutely awesome sight…

153. One11mark - April 27, 2012

Photo of the Enterprise on her way to NY…

154. One11mark - April 27, 2012!/HAL9000_/status/195889996044050433/photo/1


155. MartianRogue - April 27, 2012

what do you guys say to starting a campaign to get the first space worthy, and hopefully manned, ORION spacecraft named Enterprise?

156. AJ - April 27, 2012


I’m in.

157. MartianRogue - April 27, 2012

the 2014 test flight, will naturally be unmanned, but after that the push will be for the manned missions to start. and since the ORION is designed to be reusable, if one were named Enterprise, it would be operational for a number of years.

158. Phil - April 27, 2012

From what I’ve seen of Orion so far, it appears to be the capsule with out a mission or purpose. Not that I’m expecting to see any grand space exploration now within my lifetime, so maybe we should hold off on naming these vehicles at all, as they seem to be boldly going no where…if it’s going to ISS, name it Taxi.

159. MartianRogue - April 27, 2012

commercial vehicles are moving toward being the ‘taxi’ of the moment. with only a handful having mission statements involving something other than going to the ISS. the ORION’s purpose has been made clear to be to travel beyond Earth orbit. the drive to go to asteroids, to especially go to Mars, and beyond is there. NASA wants to do it, funding is really, and always is, the only real issue.

160. Magic_Al - April 27, 2012

Leonard Nimoy attends Space Shuttle Enterprise’s final retirement, as he did her rollout. Once again Nimoy is first in, last out, alpha and omega of Star Trek.

161. Thorny - April 27, 2012


Naming a spacecraft is usually the privilege of the crew, i.e., Armstrong named the Apollo 11 LM “Eagle”. The reusable Shuttles were an exception. Orion is no longer going to be reused. That capability was lost in one of the many weight-reduction efforts due to the ever-dwindling performance of Ares I. Even though Ares I was finally put out of its misery in 2010, it was too late to add back that capability to Orion.

SpaceX’s Dragon is expected to be reusable, however. So is Sierra-Nevada’s Dream Chaser.

162. MartianRogue - April 27, 2012

But NASA is talking about ORION being reusable still. And its often reported as being reusable.

163. Thorny - April 27, 2012

Nope. Someone is using outdated information. Whether carelessly or deliberately trying hide that Orion is no longer reusable, I don’t know. But NASA now has baselined sea recovery (splashdown) for Orion. There won’t be any reusing Orion after dunking one in salt water. Re-usability was essentially depending on ground recovery, and that (the airbag landing system) is what was deleted to save weight, because Orion has to be able to splash down at sea in a launch abort regardless.

164. AJ - April 27, 2012

NBC Nightly News:

165. Phil - April 27, 2012

The point being, short term, is small capsules will be back and forth to ISS, and anything sent to an asteroid will probably be a mining expedition – the poiint being that any grand exploration of Mars, or the moon, for that matter is decades away. Naming a capsule Enterprise would be like naming a covered wagon Mayflower. Sounds great, but means nothing,

166. Vultan - April 27, 2012

Here’s Neil Degrasse Tyson giving a speech at the recent 28th National Space Symposium. It’s a long talk (just over an hour) but well worth a listen. He pretty much lays out why space exploration is important, both economically and culturally, to the world. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.