The original Starship Enterprise may have explored many strange new planets and civilizations, but for years the classic prop from Star Trek: The Original Series has sat neglected in the basement gift shop of Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Needless to say, that’s not the best way to preserve a beloved artifact, and the poor Enterprise was in need of some serious TLC.
Thankfully, back in 2014 the Enterprise was finally energized out of the gift shop when an extensive restoration project began. Smithsonian used long-lost photos, fan expertise and X-ray radiography to restore the Enterprise‘s paint and lighting to its exact original specifications. They even brought in technicians from Industrial Light & Magic to make sure all the detailing was dead on.
As you can see in the video above, the newly restored Enterprise looks fantastic. The ship’s engines actually move, every little light is just right, and the ship once again has its classic greenish hue (you probably remember it being grey on your old washed-out TV, but it was originally intended to be a pale green).
You can check out a few pics of the Enterprise‘s day (or two years) at the spa, below…
The dissembled Enterprise in its shabby state.
Finding the right paint color.
A few of Smithsonian’s reference photos.
The Enterprise now lives in Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall in a state-of-the-art climate controlled case. After 50 years of going boldly where no man has gone before, it’s nice to know the original Enterprise has found a good home.
(Via The Smithsonian)