Why was the first space shuttle a big deal for Star Trek fans?

NASA intended to name its first shuttle, built in the 1970s as a test craft for atmospheric flights, the Constitution. But after a letter-writing campaign by fans of the sci-fi show Star Trek, President Gerald Ford asked NASA to name the shuttle Enterprise (the starship from the show). Ford never admitted that h was influenced by the Star Trek show or campaign, however. Regardless, Star Trek fans were thrilled – even though this real-life Enterprise never launched into space.

Enterprise was the culmination of decades of research in “lifting bodies.” Between 1963 and 1975, the Air Force and NASA researched methods of flying winged vehicles back from space and landing them like an aircraft. Six different prototypes were manufactured and flown in 223 glide tests, providing a set of information that was used for the shuttle and similar concepts developed by NASA.


Picture Credit : Google