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Star Trek's shuttlecraft Galileo flies again

by Greg Belfrage

The original full-size shuttlecraft Galileo from "Star Trek" is now on display at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas.  The fully restored shuttlecraft looked pristine yesterday during a celebrity studded event to celebrate her unveiling.

Among those on hand to relaunch the Galileo was actor Don Marshall, who played Lieutenant Boma in the episode, "The Galileo Seven".

Screencap: Don Marshall as Lt. Boma in "The Galileo Seven"
If you're among the Trek illiterate, the Galileo was a small spacecraft capable of carrying seven passengers.  It was one of several shuttlecraft aboard the USS Enterprise, which also included the Copernicus and the Columbus.  The Galileo appeared in seven episodes of the original series. There was a full size shuttlecraft mock-up for the actors, as well as a small studio model.

Screencap: Shuttlecraft launching from USS Enterprise hangar bay

The Galileo's journey to restoration has not been an easy one.  Several of the original ship miniatures from "Star Trek", including the 14-foot Enterprise studio model and original Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, were donated by Paramount Studios to the Smithsonian in 1974.  Those models were restored years ago.  

However, the Galileo languished on the Paramount back lot for decades, much to the chagrin of fans. There have been fan efforts to restore the Galileo dating back to 1991.  

However, serious restoration didn't begin until Adam Schneider bought the Galileo in an online auction for over $61,000.

The shuttlecraft Galileo will eventually be on permanent display in Space Center Houston's "Zero G Diner", where she will likely continue to inspire kids of all ages for decades to come.

Screencap: Commodore Decker (William Windom) prepares to pilot the shuttle down the throat a massive planet killier in "The Doomsday Machine"

Greg Belfrage is an avid Star Trek fan, serious Batman toy collector and hopeless geek. He hosts the morning show on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM.