Original 'Star Trek' USS Enterprise Fully Restored, Displayed in Smithsonian

"It's an iconic artifact, so we're really treating this as something that ... needs to be preserved and treated as authentically as possible," says the chief conservator.
Photofest
Star Trek's original USS Enterprise model will be on display in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum starting Friday.

It's not necessarily going where no man has gone before, but it's still a cool destination. 

In honor of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum 40th anniversary, the original USS Enterprise model from the Star Trek television series has been fully restored and put on view at the Washington tourist attraction, according to the museum. 

The ship is being displayed in a new state-of-the-art, climate-controlled case in the Milestones exhibit, the Smithsonian said.

The Enterprise became a pop culture icon and was just as important a character on the series, which originally ran from 1966-1969, as Capt. James T. Kirk or Mr. Spock. 

Since the model was used for filming, it is not seamless, according to the museum, which stated in a blog post earlier this week that "the restored Enterprise rests with its camera-ready side on full view. Walk around to the back to see the less-decorated port or left side, where the wires bring power to the internal lights and motors. The model’s internal lighting has been replaced with modern LEDs ... ." 

Previously, the massive model hung in the gift shop of the museum. 

"From a conservator's standpoint, that [was] probably one of the worst places to put an artifact," Malcolm Collum, the chief conservator of the National Air and Space Museum, told NPR. "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." 

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