How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterprise

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Robert Comsol, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    As part of my ongoing "educational" efforts I felt it necessary to start researching a bit more of Star Trek related NASA history.

    Here is a genuine article from 1976 how NASA changed the name of the first (atmospheric testlight only) Space Shuttle from Constitution to Enterprise.

    In retrospect one may be tempted to ask "What was wrong with those fans?" :rofl:

    An overdose of The Making of Star Trek, some kind of allergic reaction to the works of Franz Joseph, a conspiracy instigated by Walter Matt Jefferies or else?

    Of all the stories revolving around Star Trek, that's one I would like to hear more of.

    If anyone can provide further background details (i.e. who initiated the campaign, what did Gene Roddenberry say about the name change etc.) please share it with us.

    And don't look at me. I did not initiate this campaign against the Constitution. ;)

    Bob
     
  2. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    it was probably more 'we want a shuttle called enterprise because we like star trek', not 'we specifically hate the name constitution for some reason'.

    but you can't be sure with Trekites ;)
     
  3. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Hooray for the letter writing campaign by the fans. Great work.
    Thank you President Ford!
     
  4. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Originally the first shuttle was going to be retrofitted after the atmospheric flight test to allow it to go into space (isn't that something; the Enterprise refit, lol). It ultimately was deemed too expensive to modify the first shuttle for space flight so they just built one from the ground up which was cheaper. If it had been know back in the day that the first shuttle would never go into space; I doubt very seriously if the fans would have united to have the name changed. It always made me kind of sad that there was never an "Enterprise" that made it into orbit.
     
  5. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Maybe someday, with some future generation of spacecraft. It was a distinguished name prior to Trek, and a lot of later-generation scientists, astronauts, etc. have been Trek fans.
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Hmm...you're possibly right, but surely the fans must have felt compelled to deliver some good reasons against Constitution and on behalf of Enterprise.

    And the newspaper article I linked, mentioned that Enterprise had a more international sound to it than Constitution. Which happens to be exactly the same reason why Gene Roddenberry discarded the original Yorktown proposal and went for Enterprise instead.


    [​IMG]

    The picture from the official ceremony. I think I know the gentleman between Roddenberry and Koenig, but I forgot his name.

    And if I'm not mistaken that's Jesco von Puttkamer (second on the right from Koenig) who's looking at the Enterprise and probably thinking "If they ever do a Star Trek film I'd like to contribute scientific expertise and explain how the warp drive could function." ;)

    Bob
     
  7. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    I never saw the naming of the Shuttle as being against the name Constitution. I think that Shuttle could have been named anything else and Trek fans still would have wanted the name Enterprise.
     
  8. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    I feel the same.

    @ Bob: Thanks for that pic. I remember watching that live back in the day. I was so thrilled that the first one was named Enterprise. :techman:
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    I know they aren't the same type of vessel, but I like reserving the name "Constitution" only for the frigate in Boston.

    The guy on the left is NASA administrator James Fletcher, the other is George Low, deputy administrator.

    Leisure suits were apparently the uniform of the day for the male crew...
     
  10. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    [​IMG]

    This week, Leonard Nimoy takes us In Search Of...the Space Shuttle Constitution.
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Yes, but a fan of the name Constitution can easily take it personally but claiming, Trekkies hate the Constitution in an effort to make the opposition look bad.

    It's not like the name Enterprise is insignificant in American history, Star Trek or no.
     
  12. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Gawd, I hope that hideous 70s clothing never makes a comeback. :barf:
     
  13. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    I don't mind the business suits of the day. Compared to the ones from the 60s they were pretty sharp.

    But, unless you were tall and slim, the leisure suits were just horrid!
     
  14. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    And it still is a distinguished name outside of Trek. The U.S. Naval aircraft carrier Enterprise was just recently taken out of service. And despite the fact that the Navy has gotten into the practice of naming their aircraft carriers after presidents -- a practice I deplore, BTW -- they've announced that the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier CVN-80 would be named Enterprise.
     
  15. danellis

    danellis Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    I'd was about to ask about that: whether StarTrek had diminished the name in the eyes of the Navy.

    dJE
     
  16. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Let the jokes begin. The next Enterprise is a Ford.
    Fix or repair daily. Scotty will have his hands full.
     
  17. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    If Shatner had shown up at the shuttle rollout he probably would have worn something as grotty as his Ward Fowler suit and hat from Columbo. :eek:
     
  18. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    Good to hear that it hasn't. Very glad to hear there will be a new Enterprise carrier.
     
  19. Nine of Four

    Nine of Four Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    I seriously doubt anyone in the navy knows what Star Trek even is.....
    :p
     
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri

    What I've always wondered, if the space shuttle was named Enterprise because of Star Trek, than what's the reason for it being named that in-universe? Presumably in-universe there is no Star Trek chronicling adventures of starships named Enterprise in the 23rd and 24th centuries. So why did the space shuttle Constitution get renamed Enterprise?