Talk:Space Shuttle Enterprise

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Former featured article candidate Space Shuttle Enterprise is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
November 21, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted


Discussion on usenet about this article See here Anonymous Coward 15:02 Feb 19, 2003 (UTC)

The picture image:Shuttle-enterprise.jpg is actually of Endeavour. I replaced the picture with one of Enterprise on a test flight for this article. -- Ke4roh 23:17, 9 Jan 2004 (UTC)


More picture of Enterprise.



I took "Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center" out of the caption for the modern picture of Enterprise because the whole name seems hopelessly cumbersome to me and I haven't figured out a better way to do it. The text of the article names the center, which I think is sufficient. I was trying (though admittedly didn't do a great job) to make captivating captions for the article. I welcome your help. -- ke4roh 22:23, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)

Star Trek[edit]

Does the Star Trek paragraph really deserve to be the second paragraph in the article? --Doradus 13:28, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)

Certainly a mention of Star Trek should, since that was the inspiration for the name. I don't know if ALL the info needs to be in the second graph, though. --Golbez 18:44, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)


here is a photo from last year's reatoration.


Which one was first?[edit]

The article says

It was intended to be the second space shuttle to fly after the Space Shuttle Columbia even though Enterprise was built first;

What does that mean? Did NASA really intend to fly Columbia without any test flights beforehand? Or were the original plans to make Enterprise space-fit after its testing?

The plan was that Enterprise would be used for the first test flights - the ALT ones - but she wouldn't be capable of orbital flight. Once the atmospheric tests were over, Columbia would be used for the first orbital missions, and Enterprise refitted for orbital flight (she was missing certain pieces of hardware, as these weren't necessary for the ALT flights). This is basically what happened historically, except Challenger was refitted instead of Enterprise. Shimgray 14:05, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Check it out now (the intro that is) and see if it's correct. Tempshill 23:58, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Looks pretty good here. Shimgray | talk | 09:37, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Was Columbia construction started first?[edit]

I read somewhere that the first Shuttle to start construction was Columbia, with construction of Enterprise started soon after. Seems like a backasswards way to do things, to start building the first ship intended for spaceflight before beginning construction of the atmospheric flight test article. If that's true, NASA was fortunate Enterprise's ALT flights didn't turn up any difficulties that would've required major shape changes.

Another use of this Enterprise in fiction.[edit]

In Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's book "Footfall", refitting Enterprise was considered (and possibly was done, been a while since I read the book) to be attached along with the other Shuttles to an Orion style ship. The purpose of that was to fight an alien invasion of Earth.

Taxi testing[edit]

How did it get to 150+ mph with tailcone on at ground during taxi testing? Bigtop 07:09, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

From the KSC website: The ground tests included taxi tests of the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft with the Enterprise mated atop the SCA to determine structural loads and responses and assess the mated capability in ground handling and control characteristics up to flight takeoff speed. The taxi tests also validated 747 steering and braking with the orbiter attached. Cjosefy 17:20, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

What's with the "pole" on the nose of Enterprise and what happened to it?[edit]


Thought I'd drop a note here, I really think all the work LanceBarber has done is great, and thanks Lance! However, the free-flying image was already shown in the article, and it didn't match the images on all the other shuttle pages, so I moved the image that was displacing the table of contents, and put it into the infobox, to match the other orbiter's pages, they all have similar images of the orbiter at the launch pad. Sometimes, issues arise when forcing elements into specific positions, so I think it is good to remember that everyone views the article differently, different font size, resolution, browser type, and image sizing preferences in "my preferences". The manual of style is a good guideline to go on. I have personally never had whitespace with this article, so I'd guess that the whitespace Lance is seeing has something to do with the differences in our preferences/font size/resolutions. It isn't really something that we can ever "fix" for everyone, unfortunately. Nevertheless, this article looks a lot better than it did a few weeks ago! Nice job! ArielGold 20:56, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


As I recall, NASA's original plan was to name the first Shuttle -- the one used for test flights -- Columbia, and the rest Enterprise, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. But STAR TREK fans inundated NASA with letters and petitions, insisting that the first Shuttle be named Enterprise; and thus, in a stroke of positively Pratchettian irony, the name fans demanded ended up on the Shuttle that never went into space. At least, that is how I remember it: unfortunately, "that's how I remember it" does not constitute an encyclopedic reference. Can anyone come up with anything more solid? Cactus Wren (talk) 18:02, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Enterprise was originally going to be called Constitution, until the write-in from the Trekkies. Colds7ream (talk) 14:14, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
If you can find a source for that, that's prety significant. I agree with you on how unbelievably ironic that is. I think it belongs in the article. Let's keep this talk topic here until we can find a citable source to use for putting it into the article. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 13:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Consider that USS Enterprise is a Constitution-class starship... and that I've heard some people call the shuttles Constitution-class shuttles (because of the original name)... and parallels abound... (talk) 14:35, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

NASA's website confirms the ship was originally to be named Constitution see here--PghPaisan (talk) 02:06, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! I've incorporated your source into the article. SchuminWeb (Talk) 04:30, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Boilerplate configuration[edit]

What sources or references are there that refer to this two-word terminology? The references talk about the mating and vibration tests. Has it been used in any other situation or NASA testing? Can any one help. Thank you. LanceBarber (talk) 09:36, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Just click on boilerplate and you will read: "The term boilerplate in rocketry refers to a non-functional craft, system, or payload which is used to test various configurations and basic size, load, and handling characteristics." --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:43, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Possible work-in for popular culture section.[edit]

Best fix I could think of was to combine it with the last paragraph under "Service". The only other way would be to take all references to Star Trek out of the "Service" section and create a new subsection - "Origins of Enterprise" or similar.

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell's plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and most of the cast of the original series of Star Trek (minus William Shatner, Majel Barrett, and Grace Lee Whitney), were on hand at the dedication ceremony, and the show's theme music was played. Recognition has been two-way; in several productions, including Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Enterprise, Paramount has had pictures or models of former ships named Enterprise aboard ship, to include the space shuttle. In addition, during the opening montage of each episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, the Space Shuttle Enterprise can be briefly seen rolling out of its hangar.

I considered putting more detail about the usage, but since it's not the main point of the article, I figured it was unnecessary - I can provide sources if need be. Kant Lavar (talk) 14:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

UPDATE: Since nobody's had a suggestion or criticism, I'll go ahead and make the change. --Kant Lavar (talk) 11:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

2nd paragraph[edit]

bringing here from reverted change. The 2nd paragraph has redundant information about Enterprise's proposed usage as a replacement for Challenger and for possible upfitting as a spaceworthy craft. Either the information in later section needs to be removed or this paragraph needs to be summarized a bit better. Thoughts?--RadioFan (talk) 22:20, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not really understanding what you're saying. The second paragraph is part of the article's lede, which is supposed to summarize the following sections. What am I missing? Huntster (t@c) 23:35, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Now that I take a 2nd look at this paragraph. It really shouldn't be part of the lead. It doesn't summarize the sections below, it has far more information that the sections below. The first sentence suffices as a lead. This 2nd paragraph needs to be incorporated into the rest of the article.--RadioFan (talk) 01:30, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the lead needed more coverage than was in the prior version's first paragraph. I have thus added some contextually useful material to the first paragraph, and now support moving material still in the second paragraph out of the lead section. (sdsds - talk) 03:23, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Orbiter description[edit]

Is it really appropriate to describe this as the first space shuttle orbiter in the lead when it has never been into space, is not capable of doing so, and was not intended to do so? Surely an orbiter by definition has to be intened for orbit? The fact is has an honorary OV designation does not alter that fact.CrispMuncher (talk) 19:32, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

It's not an honorary designation. Enterprise was designed to go into space, and was scheduled to be refit for space, unlike Challenger, which was not meant to go into space. NASA just changed plans, and refit Challenger instead of Enterprise. It has its designation due to the original plans. OV Pathfinder has an honorary designation though. (talk) 14:38, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
It may have been *intended* to go into space, but it was never capable of doing so. It seems like "reality" should be more important than "intent" when it comes to whether or not this is designated as a Space Shuttle. Enterprise is many things, but a vehicle capable of shuttling back and forth between earth and space it isn't. Dballing (talk) 03:37, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

When was it retired[edit]

the retirement part only says it was retired, not when it was. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Good question, I'm not sure. It just mentions the date that it was transferred to the Smithsonian. Article needs a good overhauling. Huntster (t @ c) 00:25, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Left Wing Panels - Photo[edit]

Would a close-up photo of the left wing panels used in testing by the Columbia Board be welcomed here? Saw the ship a couple of weeks ago at NASM and the panels show clear evidence of having been so used. There are + marks in a grid all over it, and some obvious repair of the fiberglass to make it presentable to display. Surprising that they didn't see fit to re-paint it, though. Rails (talk) 22:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Sure, it's a bit crowded here at the moment, but we can certainly fit it in somehow. Upload it at Commons and leave a note here. Huntster (t @ c) 00:46, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Back, under a new name! Here are 3 of them, if any/all are appropriate here. They may be valid in the Columbia Accident and related articles as well. ☢ Prompt Critical (talk) ☢ 00:41, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Shouldn't those be at the CAIB article? (talk) 14:40, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Enterprise picture question[edit]

The caption on the picture says "Enterprise as it banks on its second Approach and Landing Test, September 13, 1977", but the image shows the shuttle in the air with the tailcone covering the engines. Is this possible? --Despayre (talk) 17:41, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

It is certainly possible, and was perfectly normal. Remember that Enterprise never flew in space and in these tests was exploring the gliding and landing ability of the design. It was released from a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, N911 I believe. Also, the Space Shuttle Main Engines were never active during descent, even on normal shuttle missions...they are strictly gliders once they enter the atmosphere. Huntster (t @ c) 23:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I guess so, although I'd think they'd want to see what effect on aerodynamics etc, that the engines would have too, instead of that smoothed out tailcone, also, it would change the weighting (I don't know how much), which would also affect its gliding characteristics, but hey, what do I know? :) --Despayre (talk) 02:42, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
There were five flights, three with the tailcone on, two with it off. The weighting could be controlled in any way they wished, as I don't believe there were any actual engine components on board. They may have just used simulated mass in the tail. They're engineers...I'm sure they thought of something :) Huntster (t @ c) 03:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to clear that up for me. --Despayre (talk) 05:02, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

External link[edit]

A bot reverted my external link, but it was added in tandem to another external link - i was attempting to link to Memory Beta, a Star Trek wiki where the shuttle's appearance in Star Trek fiction is described. In Star Trek novels, the Enterprise shuttle was fitted with engines and flown in space as a spectator event in the 23rd century, so i figured it's a useful pursuit.

In terms of validity, there is also a link to the Memory Alpha Star Trek wiki. Since Memory Alpha is concerned only with filmed Star Trek, there is less relevance there than the Memory Beta published Star Trek wiki. In filmed Star Trek, the Enterprise orbiter appeared in a couple of photos. So I feel that both external links are valid, as they describe the topic's fictional appearances in more detail than Wikipedia does, and I can't see why one would be removed and one would remain. -- (talk) 00:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

A reply would be appreciated. -- (talk) 14:25, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

US cities Enterprise visited[edit]

I am not completely sure about timing, but I think the following occurred during its international post-retirement tour. I was a child and was taken to see it in person, atop its carrier plane, at Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado. I directly viewed Enterprise (from a considerable distance) along with a crowd that gathered there for the same purpose. Yet Denver in not mentioned among its "farewell tour" destinations. Was the Denver stop part of its transport to various places when it was in active use, or was Denver left out of the list of final tour destinations? Admittedly a minor detail, but major to me because I saw its first televised test flights, am about to watch its last time in the air today, and saw it in person in between. (talk) 11:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)CMeta April 27 2012

Museum exhibit

"From 1985 to 2003, Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian's hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport before it was restored and moved to the Smithsonian's newly built National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles, where it was the centerpiece of the space collection. I believe she had some time simply open air at Dulles. I recall a flight into Dulles, and as taxing to the gate, getting a view of the Enterprise.out in the open. Cannot remember the exact year -1986 at way earliest, 1992 might be the latest possible. 00:16, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Enterprise is on the National Register of Historic Places (as of 3.13.2013)[edit]

Can someone add this information to the article? I'm sorry but I don't know how to do all of the formatting for the info box and references and stuff. I'm not that sophisticated. Thank you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 22 March 2013 (UTC)