It was an event that was over thirteen months and several thousands of dollars in the making—but on Wednesday, July 31, the Galileo Restoration Project, headed up by Adam Schneider, Leslie Schneider, and Alec Peters, reached its pinnacle achievement when the fully restored Star Trek prop was unveiled for permanent display at NASA’s own Space Center Houston.
The Galileo was donated to NASA, where it will act as a centerpiece of a new collection showing the link between science fiction and actual managed spaceflight. The piece is displayed not far from NASA’s Mission Control.
“If someone told me as a little kid watching Star Trek hoping to be an astronaught that I would donate a spacecraft to NASA, I would have thought ‘That can’t happen.” said Schneider, in front of the audience. “I’m just thrilled.”
“How many of you liked Spock in the series?” He asked the audience, who responded with a roar of applause. “Well, this shuttle kind of defines his character. It showed who Spock really was, that he could make a decision in the end, and the fact that he could save lives, and was good for the crew.”
Don was just one of several celebrities who were on-hand for the public unveiling of this iconic piece of science fiction history. Others included Robert Picardo, whom fans may remember as the holographic doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, Sylvester McCoy, best known for his role as Doctor Who, Marshall Teague, who played in Babylon 5, Armageddon, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Tracy Scoggins of Babylon 5 fame, and Astronaut Mike Fincke, who holds the American record for most time in space.
In addition to the celebrities, the Star Trek fan organization known as the 1701st Fleet were on-hand and on-stage alongside the shuttlecraft, to offer their own salute to the efforts undertaken by the restoration team.
It is the collective hope of the men and women at Johnson Space Center, as well as donators Adam and Leslie Schneider that this exhibit will help to inspire the creative minds of the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, and potential astronauts.