Shuttle Era Ends – Atlantis Welcomed Home To Star Trek Voyager Theme

The space shuttle program came to an end this morning when Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. And once again Star Trek was part of the event with NASA playing the theme to Star Trek: Voyager as the shuttle was towed home for the last time. Watch video of the event below.  


Shuttle Atlantis Returns Home To Star Trek Music

Shuttle Atlantis landed this morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, bringing an end to and Mission STS-135 and the entire Space Shuttle program. And this moment brought yet another intersection with Star Trek and the Shuttle program as Jerry Goldsmith’s theme to Star Trek: Voyager was played while the Atlantis was towed home for the final time. Watch the video below (via ShuttleMania).

It is fitting that the Shuttle program ends with the the final shuttle rolling in to the music of Star Trek, as back in 1976 the first Shuttle was named Enterprise and rolled out an event with the original Star Trek crew.

Roddenberry and the TOS cast with Shuttle Enterprise – September 17, 1976


Thanks to Shmuel for tip


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

First! Very fitting!

Very fitting! Goodbye :(

The circle is now complete.

Oh, wait. Wrong genre.

Impressive mission. Impressive send-off.

It’s kind of sad that William Shatner couldn’t / wouldn’t go to the space shuttle Enterprise ceremony with the rest of the cast. Mr. Shatner’s Captain Kirk is one of the main reasons I used to tune in every day to watch TOS reruns in the 1970’s.
I know they got together after DeForrest Kelly passed away, but was there ever a time when the whole TOS cast got together when they weren’t making a movie or the TV show?

Sorry to double post (Anthony we could use a edit button) but I was thinking, is the staff at NASA trying to be funny using the Voyager music?

Voyager was lost in space and NASA is lost trying to get into space. Wouldn’t the Enterprise music be a better fit? And if you think about it Cochrane was a private spaceship builder like SpaceX and built the Phoenix out of a rocket similar to the Falcon/Dragon combo.

We’re Forever Behind You Atlantis, Endeavour, Discovery, Challenger, Columbia and Enterprise!

Great the are making the bridge between current space travel and Star Trek many times, especially on historic moments.

We’ve got faith of the heart… but money matter more.

A sad day. I was watching the NASA press conference and news reports about the return landing this morning. I missed the final ceremony.

Great they used a Jerry Goldsmith theme!

July 21st was the day Mr. Goldsmith passed away, wasn’t it?

#4 Why would they get together outside of work? I think its pretty well-known that the cast did not get along as a whole and I don’t particularly think that is an uncommon phenomenon across occupations as a whole. As much as their characters were loyal to each other and friendly, at the end of the day it was their job and most of them did it well. I cannot really see them having a reason to get together of their own volition for reasons completely outside of work – or any comparable occupational entity such as all the teachers at a school, or all the nurses in a department, etc. for that matter.

So how long before we can officially re-edit the Enterprise titles? Take out the DY-spaceplane (shown undocking between the shuttle and the Phoenix) and insert an Orion Mars/Asteroid orbiter instead?

OK. Time for the USA to reveal its TOP SECRET tech that we MUST be using to get into space. It’s just not secret anymore, you guys!

FREE Gary McKinnon!!!!

@5 Actually I don’t think its the plot, but the name Voyager they were after.

@12 The top secret tech is called the Russian Soyuz capsule. (You have no idea how angry that makes me)

No space plane, Allen Williams? No Aurora? What gives?

Undoubtedly the Shuttle will be missed, however it should be pointed out NASA were never truly happy with the final product – too many compromises over its design that the military insisted on etc.

I look forward to the next step (Mars) which will hopefully happen in our life time.

I watched this on Sky News (UK) because, ironically, they give better coverage than CNN, which is the only non-Fox American news channel I’ve access to, and Sky ( as much as I hate to say it) do a much better job. It was poignant to say the least. I did shed a little tear, especially after learning so much after a project I did in primary school on the space missions where I learned a lot. The Orbiter missions have always been part of my 27-year life, and despite various hiatuses, it’ll leave a big gap for me, as a science fiction and science fact fan. So, from my small, insignificant island on the eastern Atlantic, on the West of Europe, I hope we’ll see some interesting moves further afield soon that will garner the same excitement as Apollo, Gemini, Mercury and the Orbiter missions threw down onto my generation. I will miss the excitement, and the new, extremely high-qualty imagery of late, of each shuttle launch, and best wishes to the land-based shuttle crew who are about to be laid off – may they find new and interesting and ground-breaking work easily

A sterling choice for the return of Atlantis!

This vacuum will be as pondering and tedius as the the wait for next Star Trek movie.





… still saluting. |;: )

42 years ago the united states unified the world by putting a man on the moon…one giant leap for mankind. With today’s final shuttle landing we’ve taken one giant leap backwards and can’t even get a man into orbit. How we got from there to here is beyond me.

Listen the VOY Theme music by JG Great and fascinating …good Bye Shuttle era.

Yes, the Enterprise music would have been a better fit because ultimately, it has been a FAILURE ;)

Alternatively, they could have played the Chinese national anthem of course since contrary to what US pundits claim these days, the era of HUMAN space exploration is far from over, only that of US space exploration, and human space exploration will continue nicely when leadership has been taken over by the Chinese, as has been and will be done in so many other fields… China has spearheaded naval exploration here on Earth for centuries before the Western Age of Discovery, so it sure is a worthy successor in outer space too.

I’d have picked the DS9 theme as performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic.

#5 They couldn’t use the Enterprise theme because it was the worst piece of music ever.


Not a complete failure. The space shuttle did have one notable accomplishment: the deployment and repair of the Hubble Telescope.

Salute to the many astronaut and tech heroes alive and passed away who together made the shuttle program a stunning 20 yr adventure–voyager theme was wonderful representing trek n goldsmiths emmy winning score and voyager did come home—

Thank you for a decade of space exploration. The exploration of space is always teaching us how small we are – and how great we can be, if we only want to.

As Atlantis landed I had Enterprising Young Men playing on Youtube- and I timed it perfectly!

23. The International Space Station could be considered an achievement too.

Both the Shuttle (and dare I say this) the TV show Enterprise did a good job keeping things going. Both perhaps more notable for the occasions, it went badly wrong… then ultimately canned by a disinterested administration, and placed in the hands of others, who don’t seem to be all that interested in the direction they themselves have chosen.

Hows that Hope & Change working for you?

Under Obama, a Glorious Future Disappears Into the Past

Well done, now, that’s progressive.

#18 – Hey, that “small, insignificant island on the eastern Atlantic” once ruled 1/3 of this small insignifican little planet on the fringes of the Milky Way. You Brits really need to cut yourselves some slack!


@27 How can you Neanderthals call it a complete failure? It was designed to build a frakkiin space station. IT DID THAT!

@32 And may I remind your short-term selective memory, the shuttle program ending was decided during the Bush administration.

There was also a similar lag between the end of Apollo and the first shuttle launch. In the meantime… THE HUMAN ADVENTURE IS JUST BEGINNING!

A sad but fitting farewell.
Goodbye Shuttles and thanks for the memories.

@ 32. Jeffery Wright
The Space Shuttle was earmarked for retirement before President Obama took office, and if you do a little bit of research all the orbiters were at least 20 years old. There are few haulage firms that use trucks that old.
Anyway, gotta go, the sun is shining and we are off to the beach, enjoy watching Bill, Sean and Beck in your mommies basement.

Have a nice day :)

It is true that the decision to retire the shuttle program was initiated by the Bush administration in 2004, because the (Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) made it clear that the STS system was not the most safe way to launch people into space. The basic reason is that the crew compartment was located directly adjacent to a large tank of highly-volatile fuel and two extremely explosive solid-fueled rockets. Whereas a rocket is safer because the crew compartment is located at the very top, and a small escape rocket could easily propel the crew to safety should there be a failure and loss of vehicle. While the decision to retire the shuttle is painful to a lot, and it is sad to see the beauties go, the fact of a follow-on vehicle and return to the moon (with HD cameras, etc–how awesome would that be?) made the retirement more palatable and easier to deal with. In essence we had hope because we were moving on to something big and bold. Bush had a great vision for the future of U.S. human spaceflight. Now, Obama comes in and decides that in the spirit of change for change’s sake, “we’ve been there [the moon]” and he switched destinations and made it some random asteroid somewhere in the solar system, and we are no longer going with the established new rocket design. Yes budgets were never what they should have been, because no one in Washington of either party has the stones to cut back on ridiculous waste and invest in something worthwhile, like space exploration. Keep in mind, in 2007 the U.S. budget allotted only $16 billion toward NASA for everything they did, not just space but aviation as well. Contrast that with $27 billion that the U.S. population spent on take-out pizza (Pizza Hut, Domino’s, etc.) and you see the reality: about 0.6% of the total U.S. budget went to NASA. So, under the current administration we have this “bold” plan to invest in R&D to create new technologies that we will use to go somewhere and do something sometime in the future…and go to Mars (something that has been spoken of since the early 70s). However now we have no vehicle to launch our astronauts into space, in essence surrendering to the Russians and now the Chinese. “Well, after Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz, the U.S. couldn’t launch people for 6 years!” Yes this is true, however there was an actual vehicle being designed and built and there was a set program. Not a vision statement written to mimic the preamble to Star Trek without clear and specific goals and timetables. Also, times are different now: we have a multi-billion dollar investment in the ISS that we have to pay for taxi service to get to. And did you notice how the price per seat went from approx. $50-million a year ago, to over $65-million now? Just wait; with disagreements over a missile defense shield in the mix, it’s only a matter of time before Russia decides to cut us off. Commercial companies going to space is awesome. I am for that, but NASA and the U.S. space program have been a symbol of national pride since 1959 when the first astronauts were selected. It was part of our identity as a great nation. Much like our military and our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, etc., it became a part of who we are as a nation, and now we have reversed course and abandoned an actual U.S. Space Program. People say that the companies will be the U.S. space program, but these companies are international corporations. Corporations have no allegiance to a nation in today’s global economy. So it would be a private industry space program, not a U.S. Space Program. Would we privatize the military to a commercial company? Well, that has happened in some respects and it is not a good thing, so I would say no. Also, the first time there’s a catastrophic failure and loss of life; the company/companies could be sued, or go bankrupt, and then what happens? Sure in the future we may have a new vehicle, we may travel beyond low-Earth-orbit, but it’s not guaranteed. Especially now with a failing economy it’s only a matter of time before Obama or someone else says this path is fiscally unsustainable, much like Obama did with Project Constellation and the return to the moon. Especially when Washington keeps expanding its power and creating new programs to throw money at, much to the detriment of the one thing the government should be involved in—space. Its part of the American culture and tradition; part of our identity. In a sense, Russia has now ultimately won the space race, since we have now bowed out of the business of having a… Read more »

#35 – you are out of line.

Yes, the shuttle fleet needed to be retired but to do so without any kind of replacement launch vehicle even close to taking its place and leaving the United States of America reliant upon Russia – friggin Russia – to send our astronauts into space is beyond the ability of this particular poster (meaning ME) to even begin to comprehend.

Bush may have ordered the shuttle fleet to be retired but at least he had Orion online to replace it. His current replacement killed that.

BTW #35, did I mention I thought your response to #32 was smarmy and out of line? And you call yourself a Trek fan? Where’s the IDIC, bro?

I’m not a fan of a Voyager, but that was really, really cool. It seemed really fitting, the music was perfect.

I think it would be great to use Gianchino’s version of the classic Courage theme when NASA rolls out the next manned space vehicle (like maybe the one that will go to asteroids.)


I didn’t call it a complete failure, you idiot. I was defending the shuttle program. Read my post again… if you can.

@ 37 Horatio

you start your post by Telling me ….”Your OUT OF LINE”
and you end your post by stating …..”And you call yourself a Trek fan? Where’s the IDIC, bro?”.

Horatio, I gotta ask, Where’s your IDIC “bro” ?

If you don’t like my response to another poster don’t get all “White Kinght” about it simply move along, other wise you look foolish, It has nothing to do with you, unless of course you are a sock puppet account of Jeffery Wright.

As for being “smarmy”, I am truly sorry for any offense that my supposed smarmyness to someone else, has impacted and offended you.

@5: Umm, maybe cause the Voyager theme is frigging GORGEOUS?

Huh, made it to 30 posts before we started playing “Let’s blame it on whichever president we don’t like”. For the internet, that’s practically a model of civility.

As much as I love the shuttle, it’s time has come and gone. And the end of the shuttle certainly isn’t the end of NASA.

Pity the crew of Voyager were not in this frame when the Atlantis came home since it was the music from that series that was playing.

You guys were all slurping about what a great Star Trek fan Obama is. Well aren’t you the least bit upset that he put a stop to NASA and slowed our future of a Star Trek universe?

Bush killed the shuttle, and with good cause; as amazing a craft as it was, it cost way too much, and had way too small safety factors.

Bush also authorised a replacement that would combine the best of the Apollo & Shuttle eras into something that would allow for exploration all the way across the Solar system.

Obama bit-by-bit de-funded nearly all of the Constellation program, so as to spend the money here on Earth. If he was actually spending it on making the general quality of life better, I’d understand; but he’s spending it on all his left-liberal, semi-socialist, race-bating (and don’t try to deny it) handouts to the least productive members of American society.

In the future of Star Trek people worked for the love of achieving something, without even expecting payment; in the present of reality people scrounge benefits for the love of money, and honestly don’t think they should have to work for it.

@18. Philip Dunlop – July 21, 2011 – “small, insignificant island on the eastern Atlantic, on the West of Europe”??

In the words of Stewie Griffin; “Hey… Shut up.” I don’t know if you were trying to do a H2G2 reference, but if so it didn’t work…

We are not insignificant, what’s your problem? If you’ve got some kind of self-worth issues, fine; but don’t extend them to the rest of your 60 million fellow Britons…

‘Eastern Atlantic / West of Europe’? I’d say that puts us slap-bang in the middle of affairs & makes us very significant…

Nice post Harrison.

I think a more fitting song choice would have been Entering Spacedock from the Star Trek 3 soundtrack. The Enterprise comes in essentially to be retired and that is what we are doing with the Space Shuttle. How can it not be more fitting?