It was 36 years ago today that the first space shuttle, OV-101 Enterprise, rolled out of its manufacturing facility in Palmdale, CA. NASA had intended to name the first of its new space planes Constitution and unveil it on Constitution Day (September 17). However, that restless and semi-insane group known collectively as Trekkies inundated President Gerald Ford with letters requesting the craft be named Enterprise after the saucer-shaped starship from their beloved show. President Ford never officially admitted this was the reason for the name change, but did admit he liked the name and ordered NASA to call OV-101 Enterprise.
NASA, adept at keeping the boss happy, did so. They then went one step further and invited the cast and creator of Star Trek to Palmdale for the rollout of a real space ship named after their fictional starship.
[Image Credit: NASA]