Artful Explainers

Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise was the first of NASA's space shuttles. Its original name, "Constitution", commemorated the United States Bicentennial in 1976, but a campaign led by dedicated fans of the television series "Star Trek" led President Gerald R. Ford to request that NASA change the name to "Enterprise". The shuttle flew eight captive flights on the back of a 747 to evaluate its systems in a flight environment, and five free flights tested its ability to approach a runway and land safely. With the conclusion of the space shuttle program, Enterprise and the rest of the shuttle fleet will be permanently displayed around the country.

This latest Astro Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History's Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of the Universe until June 15, 2012.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at

Related Links

Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise (OV-101)

Shuttle Transition and Retirement

NASA's Space Shuttle From Top to Bottom (Infographic)

Human Space Flight

Dryden Flight Research Center

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum


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