Star Trek’s USS Enterprise gets serious Smithsonian restoration

Smithsonian doing meticulous restoration of USS Enterprise spaceship

start-trek-s-uss-enterprise-gets-serious-smithsonian-restoration

A replica of the star ship Enterprise sits on display from the television series Star Trek at an auction a few years ago.

Credit: Reuters

Few museums in the world can restore and preserve important historical items like the Smithsonian. So it comes as no surprise the level of detail and effort by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the conservation of the original TV studio model of Star Trek’s main attraction, the USS Enterprise.

+More on Network World: 26 of the craziest and scariest things the TSA has found on travelers+

According to a recent post on its “Air and Space” blog, the museum detailed the meticulous work going into the refurbishing of the 11-ft model: “After a year of extensive research, conservation work on the original studio model of the USS Enterprise is now underway in the Museum’s spacedock. Our goal is to stabilize the model and return it to its appearance from August of 1967, during the filming of the episode The Trouble with Tribbles, which marked the last known modification of the ship during the production of Star Trek.”

According to the Smithsonian, the original model was featured in all 79 of Star Trek’s original episodes and was donated to the museum in 1974.

You can get an idea of how meticulous the museum is being about the restoration from the blog: “The Enterprise model has been carefully separated into its individual components—saucer section; secondary hull; port and starboard nacelles and pylons; deflector dish array; hangar bay doors; and the bridge.

+More on Network World: The weirdest, wackiest and coolest sci/tech stories of 2015+

Each section is being meticulously studied to determine its construction and condition and will be documented with visible, ultraviolet, and infrared photography. We completed X-ray photography, with help from our colleagues at the Smithsonian Zoological Park, in spring 2015… To understand the layers of paint applied to the model over the decades, microscopic cross sections of the paint were sampled and studied by Dr. Susan Buck, a conservator specializing in the analysis of painted surfaces. The analysis revealed layers of paint from four generations of filming and four previous restorations. The only area with unaltered original paint, on top of the saucer, will be painstakingly cleaned and stabilized, but not altered.”

According to the blog, the Enterprise will get a final grey paint job in April and should be back on public display by July.

If you have never been to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum or Udvar-Hazy Center you really need to make the trip to the Washington, DC area.

Check out these other hot stories:

IRS Scam: 5,000 victims cheated out of $26.5 million since 2013

NASA’s big rocket will carry 13 cool tiny satellites

Communication breakdown: US Secret Service needs a radio-system upgrade

Feds primary network security weapon needs more bang

US lab develops gigantic turbine blades to capture vast wind energy

Say hello to The Matrix: DARPA looks to link brains and computers

CIA: 10 Tips When Investigating a Flying Saucer

TSA: Gun discoveries up 20% between 2015 and 2014

The Big Hang-up: IRS customer call center service stinks

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.