Galileo Restoration

After NASA shuttle snub, Star Trek comes to the rescue at Space Center Houston

After NASA shuttle snub, Star Trek comes to the rescue at Space Center

Galileo Star Trek space shuttle space craft August 2013
Space Center Houston unveiled the classic Galileo shuttlecraft from the original Star Trek series. Photo by Robert Z. Pearlman/Space.com
Star Trek spaceship Enterprise on show
Zefram Cochrane (Glenn Corbett), from left, inspects Galileo as Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and Commissioner Hedford (Elinor Donahue) look on. Space.com
Galileo Star Trek space shuttle space craft August 2013
Star Trek spaceship Enterprise on show
Star Trek Enterprise before restoration

Who needs a vintage space shuttle when you can have the Galileo from the original Star Trek series?

After getting snubbed by NASA to display a retired shuttle, Johnson Space Center (JSC) remains committed to acquiring alternatives like the Boeing 747 carrier and the Explorer shuttle mockup that formerly adorned the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center.

This time, the JSC's Space Center Houston museum is boldly going where no NASA site has gone before, recently unveiling a meticulously-restored television prop used by Captain Kirk and his crew to travel between the USS Enterprise and nearby alien lands.

The fabled Galileo shuttlecraft debuts on or around stardate 2821.5, when Spock leads Bones and Scotty on a scientific mission that goes awry.

After it's pulled off course, the shuttle makes an emergency landing on the mysterious Taurus II — home to a group of furry brown giants known as anthropoids. Relations quickly devolve and the Galileo barely makes it off the rocky planet. (The full 1967 episode, titled "The Galileo Seven," currently is streaming on Netflix.)

New Jersey trekkie Adam Schneider purchased the Galileo prop for roughly $70,000 in the summer of 2012. After months of restoration work at a boat-building firm, the trailer-sized piece of TV history sat in a warehouse while its owner pondered his next move.

“It’s not exactly a living-room piece,” he told the New Yorker in February before deciding to donate the ship to JSC, where an estimated 800,000 annual visitors can see it "live long and prosper" inside the Space Center Houston's Zero-G Diner.