Star Trek Inspires New NASA Mission Poster + Shuttle Enterprise To Fly Again

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 )

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


Thanks to Robert Pearlman from CollectSPACE


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I remember the day they wheeled the ENTERPRISE out; I was barely 10 but watched in rapt attention to the news that night.

Nice to see the old Enterprise picture with the TOS cast. One of my fave Trek moments was during the premier of the ST:Enterprise when the credits lead-in showed the Shuttle Enterprise being rolled out of the hanger. Sent chills down my spine…

This is good news (not the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet) as far as the Shuttle Enterprise goes. Hopefully it will wind up in a historically relevant museum instead of being left moldering like so many other NASA vehicles.

Ralph F., me too. That was fantastic! A great memory as a nine-year-old.

Hopefully it goes to the Air force museum in Dayton. It is a significant part of our aviation history.

I hope the shuttle “Enterprise” gets a good home, I’ll be looking forward to seeing her in the air,, ( again )

Gee,, Im starting to show my age,, !

Its a shame shes going to lose her spot thou,

I wish they could have taken the Enterprise to space, at least 1 time.

Cool STS pic too.

Does anyone else thing the mission commander looks a bit like Terry O’quin? (Admiral Pressman/John Locke)

That’s awesome. It would look a lot better with Zachary Quinto in it, but I guess he was unavailable.

I don’t see why the Enterprise is getting replaced.

They jumped the gun. They should have waited and named a flying shuttle Enterprise. Of course it could have been the Columbia or Challenger renamed Enterprise and that would have been bad.

I was 11 when the Enterprise flew (well, glided) and remember it well. My brother-in-law’s uncle was a photographer for the White House at the time and I have two official White House photos of President Regan dedicating her and other of her landing. They hang proudly on the same was as my plates of the Enterprise 1701, 1701-A and 1701-D.

As far as the the retirement of the Shuttle fleet, I think it’s a big mistake to leave the USA without its own way to put humans into space or pick them up from the ISS.

That being said, I was at the first Shuttle launch ever when the Columbia took off on April 12, 1981 and I’ll be at the last with my two boys. Nice bookends to the end of an era of manned space flight.

the enterprise rises again.

next star trek tv show ship: Enterprise-F

showrunner: Ronald D Moore

sorry about that, the thought just crossed my mind.

I actually saw the Columbia fly piggyback around Oklahoma City before it landed at Tinker AFB on the way from California to Florida. I went to the school library on the second story, stood on a bookcase, and plastered myself to the window to get a close-up view. It was a truly amazing sight to see something so large and heavy-looking (Columbia) atop something that looked so fragile (747). AWEsome!

It’s funny, but the Trek banner has a Asian male, an African woman, a Russian male, A Scot male, two american males, and a vulcan male.

The NASA banner has all white (American?) males. Couldn’t they at least put a woman astronaut on the flight for a little diversity? Or even an all women crew? It would have been nice to see that before the shuttle retires.

STS-134 will be a sausage fest. They need a hot astronette in a slinky red dress.

Cool that Enterprise will fly again.

I followed the link to the missions posters… what fun!

Yes…I remember the live broadcast of the rollout of that shuttle…Man what memories…I was 10 at that time. I also remember seeing it in flight on top of that modded 747. I had to have the model of that plane and shuttle.

I’m disappointed that the Enterprise is getting replaced at the Smithsonian. I rather liked Shatner’s talking about the irony of fate that although the Enterprise never flew into space, it was the one preserved for posterity as “the shuttle”. Unfortunately, her fate now is probably to be relegated to some out of the way museum, like the Hill AFB museum while the other “real orbiters” get the glory spots.

Frankly, I’d like to see the Smithosonian or Dayton get the whole lot and display all of them together, so you can go to one place and see all of the surviving vehicles of the program.

I still remember watching one of the flight tests on tv. Pretty dramatic the first time she separated from the 747, and glided down to a landing! The Enterprise did her part for the shuttle program even though she never went into space.

They even had her out at Vandenburg AFB once to test out the launch pad there. Too bad they mothballed the idea of west coast shuttle launches, it would have been cool to see them from in front of my house!

In one of the novels set before TMP, Admiral Kirk gets a ride on the old girl, retrofitted to actually go into space with 23rd century propulsion.

The sad aside to all this is the fact that America has turned its back on manned space exploration.

The current administration has cancelled previous initiatives to return to the moon and Mars.

We should take this as an opportunity as ST fans to voice a need to make the vision of Star Trek as a future REALITY, not simply science fiction.

When I watched the first episode of ST premier on NBC in the 60’s I had no doubt that I would live to see human colonies on the moon, Mars and beyond.

Now, I’m faced with years of America taking the back seat to Russia, China and India in space exploration. What legacy do my children and grandchildren inherit?

We can fix this if enough of us speak out.

Make it so.



Wow – I remember the test flight of the Enterprise too. What a thrill! I also remember watching the Columbia lifting off for the fist time – it was so fast compared to the Saturn V. I was amazed.

I also remember the loss of the Challenger in 1986 – I was in shock for months afterward. I remember seeing the dedication of Star Trek IV to their crew. I was moved.

Now I am humbled to see this come full circle…

What? Shuttle Enterprise should be getting readied for SPACE FLIGHT, not flying coach.

Imagine how many people around the world would stop to see *that*?

She might as well be the original NCC-1701 flying out of spacedock.

C’mon NASA, pimp my shuttle. Pimp it!

I still think they picked a really crappy shot of Chris Pine for that poster. He looks like he wants to bite someone’s head off.

Enterprise should fly the last mission.

Huh. I was wondering what they were doing to Enterprise when I was down at Udvar-Hazy last week. I know a Pad Tech was there (He chatted up a bunch of us before he went to lunch), but he didn’t mention they were planning to move it.

It’s also sad to think that Enterprise might eventually end up back in a warehouse, now.

i wish new next generation Enterprise is next for what?

It’d be cool to see the Enterprise at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. They’ve got a number of historical vehicles, and the Henry Crown Space Center.

That’s not Locke- that’s the Man in Black!

NASA III: The Voyage to Irrelevancy

Does anyone have the sneaking suspicion that NASA has purposefully never flown the Shuttle Enterprise into space as a way to spite Star Trek fans? I mean, they weren’t originally planning on naming it “Enterprise,” so somehow, in the back of my mind, I just have the suspicion that never flying it into space is their way of going “Fine, you want to have it named after your stupid fake ship? Okay, but it’s not going into space, haha! See how you like THAT!”

Somehow, just nagging at the edge of my mind, that theory exists…

@TOS Purist

Not Really, see here:

“During the construction of Columbia, details of the final design changed, particularly with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the country. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be less costly to build Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been created as a test article. Similarly, Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares instead.”

I had my hopes up at first that this Enterprise was getting a refit and was going to be going into space, but oh well. Seems like, especially if the problem was the current 3 being worn out, that could be a solution so at least we’d have some reliable way to get into space until the government pulls their heads out of their asses about the whole thing. Personally I think we need a new fleet of shuttles, ones that are bigger and can carry more cargo, and of course safer. Doubt they’ll do it, though.

@ Mr. Styles (Post #32)

Huh, well I guess my sneaking suspicion was wrong – good to know! :)


The current shuttles aren’t worn out, they’re just underfunded. A couple of them badly need some replacement internal parts, but they haven’t received them simply because the program is winding down, and it’s not worth the cost.

A glorious era soon comes to a close… NASA will be hitch-hiking for Dollars to the International Space Station – and beyond, courtesy of the Russians (and likely Chinese) in the near future. I wish I could have lived to see a Shuttle launch in person. I envy those folks who did, – not to mention the astronauts.

Rely to #2: The Shuttle Enterprise was “moldering” as you put it. Moldering would be if they decided not to have put the Shuttle on display at all. The Hanger-like building that was designed is one of the largest museums for aviation and has allowed everyone to be able to view the Enterprise. It has been on display for people to view at the new Air and Space Museum Chantilly facilities for nearly five years. Thousands of people have visited and have been able to view the shuttle, including myself. I am saddened that the Enterprise may be leaving our area to go somewhere else. The Endeavor is getting old, but it has been a joy to actually get up close and personal to the Enterprise. Those looking forward to seeing it here in the DC area will miss it. And I do hope that it will be able to be viewed by others in another wonderful location. Though nothing can really replace the Enterprise.

Correction, I meant to say NOT “moldering.” If would be if NO ONE saw it. The Enterprise is being used for EDUCATION purposes by being on display for people. It is part of history’s Aviation as well as part of our history of Space Exploration.

I have an idea. Bring the Enterprise to NY. I’m sure she could fit on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid!

Wow! Look at all the white, eurocentric men on that crew. I guess I don’t really care. But that’s pretty unusual in this day and age.

Its a sad year for manned space flight. The government continues its plans to mothball the shuttle fleet with no replacement vehicle even close to being ready to ferry Americans into space.

We’ve jumped the shark, America.

Headline is a little misleading. (But a nicely written article.)

I remember the day the Enterprise flew over my house. It did a low-level flyby of the city before landing at the airport, where it was on display for a few days for an air show. The roar was deafening – it sounded as if it was going to land on the next block. That picture of the Enterprise flying over the houses on my street – albeit with a 747 strapped to it – is one of my favourites.

I’ve always wondered why Bill Shatner doesn’t appear on that cast pic with the Enterprise. Was he even there? If not, this shows complete disrespect. I love M. Shatner but he should have made the effort of attending, unless he had valid reasons of course.

#11 – I’m pretty sure that the shuttle Enterprise “flew” in 1976 or 1977 – I’d take another look at that picture you have. A long story, but I was in junior high school and remember an oil embargo or shortage that year (gas was .95 a gallon and my mom refused to pay!!!)

@14 – STS-131 that launches in April will three women on board: One white, one African-American, and one Japanese., plus four dudes. Is that diverse enough for you?

One thing I love about this poster is that there are at least 2 Trekkers on board. Mike Finck (second from left) actually appeared on Enterprise and Greg Chamitoff (far right) often referenced Trek when he was part of the ISS crew and even took some Trek to watch while he was up there.

Wonder what the Shuttle Enterprise would bring at Christies?

Oops! I left the “e” off of Mike Fincke. Sorry Mike!

Here’s the history for you all to enjoy…

Never did care for the look on Pine’s face in that poster. Makes him look like a psycopath! And to see it repeated on the face of a Shuttle astronaut is even more disturbing- remember, in space, nobody can hear you scream!

thats good