The actual on-screen filming model of the USS Enterprise for Star Trek: The Original Series is finally back on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. after a long absense due to extensive cleaning and restoration work. Just in time for Star Trek's 50th anniversary this September, the Constitution-class Federation starship got a proper shakedown by modelmakers, artists and archivists to bring the iconic spaceship back to like-new condition and undo some of the ill-advised add-ons of a previous restoration in the late 1990s.
Relegated to the dishonorable location of the museum gift shop from 2000 until 2014, amid souvenir t-shirts, airplane toys and postcards, this two-year makeover/renovation restored the Enterprise to its exact state while used for filming the influential sci-fi series from 1966-1969. On Friday, Smithsonian officials unveiled the spiffy starship with its flashy warp drive engine lighting effects and interactive touchscreen exhibit resting in a new, hi-tech, climate-controlled display in the museum's Boeing Milestones Of Flight Hall. The months of cleaning, painting, rewiring and detailing bring the legendary studio model back to what it would have looked like at the end of shooting season two, following The Trouble With Tribbles episode.
Check out this quick preview and full conservation video below and tell us if you'll make a pilgrimage this year to pay your respects.