First Look: Restored STAR TREK USS Enterprise Model at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The original USS Enterprise model from the classic Star Trek TV series was recently restored and today it goes on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

The website Trekcore visited the museum today and captured the following short video. It's on display in the museum's Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. I am looking forward to seeing this iconic ship in person the next time I make my trip to US.

Update: Check out the new video from TrekCore below which gives a better close-up view of the model.


The NCC-1701 model is 11 feet long and about 200 lbs, made out of blow-molded plastic and wood.

Scroll down to know more about the restoration from Malcolm Collum, the chief conservator of the National Air and Space Museum during his interview with NPR

To view further details and pictures of the restoration check out this blog article from the museum.

For more than a decade the model was hung in the gift shop of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum.

"From a conservator's standpoint, that is probably one of the worst places to put an artifact," says Malcolm Collum

Though the model has been restored a few times before, the goal this time was to bring the starship back to its TV glory days — circa 1967.

"It's an iconic artifact, so we're really treating this as something that is — it needs to be preserved and treated as authentically as possible," Collum says.

The previous restoration in the 1990s, completed in collaboration with the museum, was controversial for its more interpretive coloring.

Collum says one thing they had to get right this time was the color: green, not grey or white as it appeared on the screen.

"In reality it looks very green and that's usually the thing that people balk at when they first see it," Collum says.

That look was designed with purpose.

"The folks that built the model knew that they had to put on certain colors that would read well in the studio, but they couldn't use blues because they were using a blue screen background," he says.

The detailing of the ship, however, only extends halfway — the Enterprise was only filmed from its starboard side. When the series needed to show the port side, editors just reversed the film and added different decals.

"We really want to convey to the audience that this is a studio model," Collum says. "It's not only the iconic spaceship that was on the television series, but it is a physically functioning studio prop that had to be lit, it had to be properly supported, the wires had to be hidden."

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