Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas, unveiled the newly-fan-restored Shuttlecraft Galileo on Wednesday (July 31) during a science fiction celebrity-studded event that featured one of the original actors from the full-scale spacecraft’s debut episode.

Don MarshallActor Don Marshall, who portrayed Starfleet Lieutenant Boma “The Galileo Seven,” helped launch the prop’s public display.

shuttlecraft_spacecenter01Joining Marshall for the lights-and-fog-assisted reveal were actors Robert Picardo (The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager), Sylvester McCoy (the seventh Doctor from Doctor Who), Tracy Scoggins (Captain Elizabeth Lockley from Babylon 5) and Gil Gerard (Captain William Buck Rogers from Buck Rogers in 25th Century), among other sci-fi stars.

“This is one of our ideas as to what a shuttle should be,” NASA astronaut Mike Fincke told SPACE.com after the unveiling. “I had a chance to fly on a real space shuttle, so there is a connection. And it is an exciting connection because now it can be made by everyone.”

shuttlecraft_spacecenter03“Come to Space Center Houston, be inspired and who knows what some of these kids who are going to be inspired what they are going to build in the future,” said Fincke, who also had the chance to play an engineer in the final episode of the Star Trek: Enterprise TV series in 2005.

The “Galileo” was introduced to viewers in the 16th episode of Star Trek. The show’s producers initially couldn’t afford to build the 23-foot-long by 8-foot-tall (7-by-2.4 meter) prop spacecraft. Instead, they relied on the cheaper “Beam us up, Scotty” transporter special effects to show how the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise came and went from the much larger starship.

“The addition of Galileo adds to the rich history of space exploration as it pays tribute to the way science fiction ignites our imaginations and has inspired generations of innovators,” said Richard Allen, president and CEO of Space Center Houston.

“Galileo will join the ranks of many other inspiring exhibits at Space Center Houston, including the recent space shuttle mockup addition and the biggest expansion in our history, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Project.” 

Original article on Space.com