Air & Space magazine:
Once NASM opened, the Enterprise spent most of the years between 1976 and 1999 suspended from the ceiling… the model was initially regarded more as a piece of decor than as an object deserving of preservation and scholarship in its own right.
I remember wandering through the Air & Space Museum as an eight-year-old kid, seeing milestones of flight. Touching a (well-worn) fragment of a moon rock. Looking at old NASA capsules. And yet absolutely nothing made more of an impression on me than that wooden model, the real “Star Trek” Enterprise, suspended above me. That image is fixed in my mind more than three decades later.
Good news: Now the Smithsonian knows what they’ve got. It’s being restored right now.
[Via Todd Vaziri and Joe Steel]