The original Galileo shuttlecraft from the "Star Trek" television series has landed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“The addition of Galileo adds to the rich history of space exploration as it pays tribute to the way science fiction ignites our imaginations and has inspired generations of innovators,” Richard Allen, president and CEO of Space Center Houston, told Space.com.
“Galileo will join the ranks of many other inspiring exhibits at Space Center Houston, including the recent space shuttle mockup addition and the biggest expansion in our history, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Project.”
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The Galileo debuted on Jan. 5, 1967, on the 16th episode of Star Trek. Initially, the show’s producers couldn’t afford to build the 23-foot-long prop that stands 8 feet tall, so they relied on the famous “Beam us up, Scotty” transponder to take Capt. Kirk and his crew to and from the larger starship Enterprise. Because the Enterprise never landed on a planet, a shuttlecraft was needed to carry cargo and crew members to lands unknown.
The visitors’ center unveiled the Galileo on Wednesday. The event featured a number of celebrities from various science fiction flicks, including actor Don Marshall, who played Starfleet Lt. Boma in the "Star Trek" episode "The Galileo Seven" in which the shuttlecraft debuted.
Adam Schneider bought the battered prop for $61,000 last year at an auction and restored the piece of television history. He was at the unveiling Wednesday.
“Unbelievably proud,” he told the AP.
“Like sending our kid to college and having them get a job to build a successful life, because this was under our care for a year and we grew very attached.”
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