Saturday, April 28, 2012

And Keptin---It's the Enterprise!  The Voyage Home

In 1976, the stars of a cancelled TV series that ran three seasons but was suddenly reborn in syndication, gathered with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to witness the literal roll-out of the first U.S. Space Shuttle.  Thanks to letters from Trek fans, President Ford named it Enterprise.

Like its starship namesake this craft never flew into space , but it was important to the space program and to the future anyway.  Now that like Roddenberry's Star Trek the Shuttles are history, it was fitting that Mr. Spock was on hand for the voyage home of this Enterprise in 2012.  It will eventually rest at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York.

It made its beauty passes over Manhattan on April 27, 2012, on the back of a 707, much as the Shuttle Discovery did the week before, over Washington on its way to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. 

Of course it wasn't long before a different Enterprise appeared in its place (this particular version is from "It's OK To Be Smart," a science blog. )

There is something melancholy in all this.  It seems less of a "The Human Adventure is Just Beginning" than the end of an era.  Much of what I read about the next "action-packed" Star Trek film suggests that the Star Trek with a soul may well be history.  But like the manned space program itself, it is a living history, with rewards for the present and for future generations who discover it, and see it new.  Yes, it is your grandfather's Star Trek.  And it's worth remembering and revisiting, and learning from anew.

1 comment:

Maurice Mitchell said...

Truly a moment in time. Such a sad end.
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972