Today a major piece of Star Trek history became available to the highest bidder. The Shuttlecraft Galileo from the original Star Trek series is up for auction. There is also a group that is trying to acquire the shuttle with plans to restore it and put it on display for the fans. More info below.
Shuttle Galileo Goes Up For Action
Today the original Shuttle Galileo went up for auction. Memorabilia from the original Star Trek is very rare and even though this item is not in the best condition some experts think it could sell for as $100,000 by the time bidding closes on Thursday June 28th. The auction is being conducted on behalf of owner Lynn Miller by Kiko Auctions of Canton, Ohio (where the Shuttle currently resides) You can place your bid online right now, if you have that kind of money.
As noted the current state of the Shuttle is pretty poor. It appears to have been left outdoors (in Ohio) for most of the last couple of decades. That being said, most of the original components are still in tact, including the nacelles. Nevertheless, Galileo is definitely in need of a restoration.
The Shuttle Galileo was originally created for the first season episode "The Galileo Seven." The prop was used for exterior shots, with the interior shots shot on a separate set. It was designed by Matt Jeffries, who also designed the USS Enterprise. And the actual shuttle prop (which is somewhat smaller scale than the shuttle set) was built by the AMT model shop. Although the Galileo was "destroyed" in the episode, the prop returned for subsequent episodes that required a shuttle exterior shot.
Following the cancellation of the series the shuttle was first donated to the Braille Institute where it was used as a plaything for the students. It was later sold and over the decades fell into disrepair but in 1986 it was restored and displayed at a 20th anniversary convention in Los Angeles. Once again the shuttle was stored in the open and again deteriorated until 1989 when it was purchased by Lynn Miller of Akron, Ohio who planned to restore it and display it at the National Air & Space Museum. A restoration project began in 1991 (see video below) but was never completed. And unfortunately in the years since this partial restoration, the shuttle again was stored outdoors resulting in the current condition.
Video from last Galileo restoration in 1991
If you want this piece of Star Trek history, it can be yours if you are the highest bidder. Try your luck at Kiko Auctions (via Proxibid.com). Remember, when you bid there is also an extra 15% buyers premium to pay to the auctioneers.
Group wants to share Galileo with the fans
Actual original models and memorabilia from the original Star Trek are very rare. Usually when items like this shuttle are put up for auction they are snatched by a rich collector and disappear into their private collections. While there are some interesting pieces of Trek history on display with the touring Star Trek: The Exhibition, most of what CBS/Paramount auctioned off in 2006 is not available for fans to see. Some items (like the Enterprise D and DS9 model purchased by billionaire Paul Allen) were shown at his Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, but are not currently on display. For the Galileo, a couple of collectors are trying to ensure this piece of Star Trek history can be shared with the fans and finds a permanent home where it can be displayed.
USS Enterprise model from feature films sold at auction in 2006 for $240,000 – not seen since
Alec Peters, founder of Propworx, has teamed up with fellow collector Adam Schneider to bid on the Galileo. They have formed the Galileo Restoration Group. Peters and Schneider’s goal, if they win the auction, is to restore the shuttle and then tour it around to conventions and events and then eventually find a permanent home for Galileo at a museum.
They are using their own funds to bid in the auction, but plan on going to Kickstarter to get fans to get involved in funding the restoration. Galileo Restoration have also teamed up with Star Trek fan club STARFLEET, who will also help out with the restoration phase. Like with all Kickstarter campaigns, there will be various perks for those who help out. The entire process (again if they win the auction) will also be documented and reported online so supporters can keep track of progress.
Peters tells TrekMovie that he is already putting together a team of professionals who are prepared to restore Galileo to its original condition. TrekMovie has also talked to Emmy-winning Star Trek designer Doug Drexler, who says that he and fellow Trek vet Mike Okuda are interested in helping out the Galileo Restoration team, or anyone who commits to sharing Galileo.
Hopefully this team doesn’t get outbid and wins the auction so that Galileo can be shared with the fans.
For more on this effort (and on the history of the Galileo), visit galileorestoration.com.
Galileo Restoration Project Banner
Correction: Article updated to note Enterprise D model had been displayed after it was sold at auction