Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
To mark the 49th anniversary of the debut of "Star Trek", the iconic television series, the National Air and Space Museum hopes to give trekkies everywhere a blast from the past.
In 1974, Paramount studios donated to the Smithsonian Institution the model used in the hit 1960s show created by Gene Roddenberry. Earlier this year, when the museum pulled the ship off exhibit for the project, a spirited Twitter conversation between William Shatner, the actor who played Capt. Kirk, and the museum became a smash hit online. "Did you break my ship?" the actor good-naturedly asked.
Now the museum is asking for help to restore the model to its original appearance. The conservators are asking for images or film from fans or from studio staffers depicting the ship while it was under construction, or during filming, or while it was on display at other venues.
The 11-foot prop aircraft is slated to go back on display in 2016 in the museum's Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, but it is currently undergoing its refresh at the museum's Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The ship has been modified eight times since it was built in 1964. But the studio model's 1967 appearance in the episode “Trouble with Tribbles” was the last time the Enterprise was modified during the original "Star Trek" television series.
Fans are encouraged to submit firsthand, original images or film of the ship under construction, during filming or on public display at any time before 1976. For more information about submitting material, contact StarshipEnterprise@si.edu and look for updates about the project on social media channels using #MilestonesofFlight.