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In the basement by the Gift Shop
November 2, 2013 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Boldly sitting next to the gift shop in the basement of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum one finds NCC one seven O one. No bloody A, B, C, or D. WAMU's Metro Connection provides a story about curating the the original model of the iconic star ship, Enterprise.

The model is part of the Social and Cultural Space Collection.

Other treasures of this collection include (on display at the Udvar Hazy center in Northern Virginia):
-A pair of 1930s Buck Rogers toy pistols and a holster for a third.
-A trophy awarded to Willy Ley by the World Science Fiction Society with a mid-century modern metal rocket.
-The Mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
-This awesome lunchbox from 1960
-Robert Goddard's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity pin — the oldest artifact in the collection.
posted by humanfont (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's hanging upside-down!
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:22 PM on November 2, 2013


It's a great ship. I build a lot of models, and the NCC-1701 is like my Moby Dick. I've tried to build it.. 3? 4 times? Various kits of different scale. And something always goes wrong. I've never managed to actually finish a build. Maybe one day.

My favorite of all the various designs is the NCC-1701-A. No other Enterprise really comes close for me.

Thanks for sharing!
posted by kbanas at 2:22 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, also, here are some more pictures of the Enterprise from the Smithsonian. I just happen to have them bookmarked with my modeling reference stuff.
posted by kbanas at 2:23 PM on November 2, 2013


I remember going down to that part of the Air and Space Museum a number of years ago when we were iN DC and being very sad and annoyed that such an important ship was in the gift shop.
posted by immlass at 2:24 PM on November 2, 2013


I remember going down to that part of the Air and Space Museum a number of years ago when we were iN DC and being very sad and annoyed that such an important ship was in the gift shop.

At least it's inside the museum. I've heard that in England they put the TARDIS models out on the sidewalk.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 2:27 PM on November 2, 2013 [20 favorites]


I've tried to build it.. 3? 4 times? Various kits of different scale. And something always goes wrong.

At least on the original kit, the engine struts aren't strong enough. You need to reinforce them or they'll sag.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:41 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love that scene with the recreation of the original Enterprise bridge, because decades later it still looks incredibly current and modern, so much so that I thought at first that they had updated and modernized it for the episode. Some designs are so classic they just don't age.
posted by happyroach at 3:27 PM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's 11 feet across, only slightly smaller than my car.

Clearly, they pay journalists rather more in the US than in the UK...
posted by Devonian at 3:36 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is no prettier starship than the NCC-1701 post-refit. There might be more menacing ones (Star Destroyers), ones with more character (the Millennium Falcon), and slightly more plausible ones (the Discovery from 2001), but nothing beats a Constellation-class starship for sheer noble grace. Ach, that's a ship! The Enterprise D? A spacefaring waffle iron.

(I gotta admit, the Abrams Enterprise is growing on me and I was a vocal detractor when it was first revealed. That shot of the Enterprise rising out of rings of Saturn probably contributed more than a little to my change of heart.)
posted by entropicamericana at 3:37 PM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Here's the Enterprise being filmed alongside the Botany Bay

Recently, the Enterprise's shuttlecraft NCC-1701/7 Galileo was fully restored after having been rusting away in various junkyards since the 60s (and after one or two aborted attempts at restoration), and is now on display at Space Center Houston.

Other Star Trek ships:

* Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D (6 footer) are in Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle.

* Miranda and Enterprise-B/Excelsior are at ScienceFictionArchives.com, a European organization.

* Enterprise-E and Deep Space 9 were also sold at auction. Current whereabouts of these are unknown, it seems.

* Voyager is (or was, their website is gone?) part of the Hancock Collection in England, owned by Adrian Hancock.
posted by Harry at 3:45 PM on November 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Vida longa e próspera!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:08 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I gleefully made my wife take pictures of me in front of the ship. My son didn't get it because at the age of 4 he had only seen Star Wars but no Star Trek. I obviously intend to rectify this as he grows...
posted by caution live frogs at 4:19 PM on November 2, 2013


There is no prettier starship than the NCC-1701 post-refit.

This vexes me.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:17 PM on November 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Devonian: It's 11 feet across, only slightly smaller than my car.

Clearly, they pay journalists rather more in the US than in the UK...
No, they just make cars bigger here.

I assure you, that's the more likely answer.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:16 PM on November 2, 2013


There is no prettier starship than the NCC-1701 post-refit.

I have to agree. All of the TOS movie starships were spot-on. And you can tell they were proud of it because of the interminable flyaround sequence during ST:TMP.
posted by zsazsa at 9:41 PM on November 2, 2013


The Enterprise I made from a kit all those years ago was gorgeous. I do not know where it is now.
Sic transit Enterprise.
posted by Cranberry at 12:28 AM on November 3, 2013


...NASA was persuaded to change the name of the very first Space Shuttle. Which is how the ship NASA had planned to call The Constitution went into the history books as... The Enterprise.

NCC-1700 "Constitution" was the lead ship of the class of ships to which NCC-1701 "Enterprise" belongs. We've gone and screwed up the timeline again.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:00 AM on November 3, 2013


Designer and effects person Doug Drexler wrote an interesting analysis about all the elements that went into the design of the original Enterprise. He talked about the secondary-hull's 'fantail', how the engine pylons were the 'masts', about the inspiration for the deflector dish, and about the cowling behind the Bussard collectors on the engines coming from Jefferies' direct experience with B-17s. He also mentioned the art-deco influence on the design and markings.
It's one of the best pieces I've ever read about the original Enterprise design. Sadly, it's now only available via the Wayback Machine, and without photos, no less. Here it is.
posted by jabah at 5:03 AM on November 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


I just realized I said Constellation-class instead of Constitution-class and nobody has keelhauled me yet. You're slipping, boyos. (The Constellation-class is hideous.)
posted by entropicamericana at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2013


jabah's link leads to the VERY relevant and still accessible photos of the tear down and restoration of the 11 foot studio model now at the Smithsonian.
posted by dhartung at 12:26 PM on November 3, 2013


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