35 years ago, on September 17, NASA unveiled the space shuttle Enterprise to the delight of her TV crew. (Why Bones, you look so STYLIN’ in those gold bell-bottom slacks!)
In 1976, NASA’s space shuttle Enterprise rolled out of the Palmdale manufacturing facilities and was greeted by NASA officials and cast members from the ‘Star Trek’ television series. From left to right they are: NASA Administrator Dr. James D. Fletcher; DeForest Kelley, who portrayed Dr. “Bones” McCoy on the series; George Takei (Mr. Sulu); James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); series creator Gene Rodenberry; an unnamed NASA official; and, Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov).
SPACE.com has a nice article about the Enterprise, a prototype and test vehicle that never felt the chill of space, but paved the way for the rest of the fleet!
The space shuttle prototype Enterprise flies free after being released from NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft over Rogers Dry Lakebed during the second of five free flights carried out at the Dryden Flight Research Center, in Edwards, Calif., as part of the shuttle program’s Approach and Landing Tests (ALT). The tests were conducted to verify aerodynamics and handling characteristics in preparation for orbital flights with the Space Shuttle Columbia, which began in April 1981.