On June 4th, 1974, construction began on the Space Shuttle Enterprise. It was the first orbiter in a fleet of six in total, and the only one that never journeyed out of Earth's atmosphere. It still holds a significant amount of history and is one of only four that remain
photo credit @nasa.gov
Recognize these people? See below and find out how Enterprise got it's name!
Among it's many missions, albeit none of which were out of this world, the Space Shuttle Enterprise was very busy performing the first ALT (approach and landing tests) and Mated Vertical Ground Vibration Testing (MGVT). In addition to many other roles it played for NASA through the years, including three planned orbital missions that never came into fruition, Enterprise eventually retired in November, 1985 and moved to it's new home at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington DC.
After the Challenger disaster in 1986, NASA considered replacing it with a renovated Enterprise but opted to use spare parts from Discovery and Atlantis to build Endeavor instead.
Finally, Enterprise had one more mission in 2003: after the Columbia did not return home, disintegrating upon re-entry during it's 28th and last mission, the Enterprise was called upon again. The shuttle's wing was used for several types of impact tests which ultimately assisted in discovering the probably cause of the accident.
The Enterprise's last flight was on April 27, 2012 from DC to New York City. It is now on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City where everyone can visit it and see a piece of history up close. For more information on the Space Shuttle Program and the Enterprise, visit NASA.gov
Space Ship(s) Enterprise
Is it a coincidence that the Space Shuttle Enterprise has the same name as a popular fandom's space ship?
Originally, Enterprise was named THE CONSTITUTION, partly because it's first flight was to be on September 17, 1976, the year of America's bicentennial as well as Constitution Day. But Star Trek fans across the nation started a letter writing campaign that reached not only members of congress and the heads of NASA, but President Gerald Ford. With the power of the pen and the voice of the people, the name was changed to ENTERPRISE