Star Trek’s imagination of space travel inspired millions and offered a potent example of a diverse spaceflight crew.
Collection Item Summary:
This model of the fictional starship Enterprise was used in the weekly hour-long "Star Trek" TV show (NBC-TV), which aired from September 1966 until June 1969. Despite its short initial run (only three seasons), Star Trek became one of the most popular shows in the history of television. The show's depiction of a racially-integrated, multinational crew of men and women working together successfully, as well as its attention to contemporary social and political issues, pushed the boundaries of network television, earning Star Trek a dedicated fan base that lobbied for the franchise's continuation.
The Enterprise was meant to travel many times beyond light speed, powered by a controlled matter/anti-matter system, a propulsion concept "stretched" from a then-accepted theory. The fictional ship grossed 190,000 tons, and measured 947 feet long and 417 feet in diameter. The saucer-shaped hull included 11 decks, and had a crew complement of 430.
The model's principal designer, Walter "Matt" Jefferies, worked with concepts provided by Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry. At first, Desilu Productions commissioned a rough 4-inch balsa and cardboard prototype. A 3-foot "pilot" model mostly of solid wood was then built by model-maker Richard C. Datin under subcontract to the Howard Anderson Company. Enlarging the plans for the 3-foot model resulted in the final 11-foot model shown here. The Anderson Company again turned to Datin who contracted it out to Production Model Shop of Burbank, California, with Datin supervising the construction while he did the detail work.
Paramount Studios donated the model to the National Collection in 1974.
Collection Item Long Description:
National Air and Space Museum
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
Richard C. Datin
Gift of Paramount Pictures Inc.
Primarily constructed of poplar wood, vacu-formed plastic, rolled sheet metal tubes for both the engine pods from the back of the struts to the start of the nacelle caps, and plastic for the main sensor dish and detailing (light covers, etc.). The front and rear of the engine pods or nacelles are of wood. The nacelle grill plates brass. Rolled steel wires were also inserted through its original pipe support for lights.
- Overall: 2ft 8in. x 11ft x 5ft, 200lb. (81.28 x 335.28 x 152.4cm, 90.7kg)
- Other (engines): 6ft 1/4in. (183.52cm)
- Other (central pod): 4ft 5 5/16in. (135.38cm)
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National Air and Space Museum Collection
Country of Origin
United States of America
MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts
Explore Object Connections
The Star Trek Starship Enterprise model and LM-2 are actually contemporaries of each other.
Robert McCall did production illustrations for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979.