Restoring Original Star Trek Enterprise Was A Huge Undertaking

Just last month, the original on-screen model for Star Trek’s USS Enterprise was brought back to [...]

Just last month, the original on-screen model for Star Trek's USS Enterprise was brought back to display at the National Air and Space Museum in honor of the franchise's 50th anniversary. The iconic prop has been housed at the national archive since Star Trek ended in 1969. However, the model sustained lots structural damage over the decades, so the museum wisely elected to restore the massive starship. And, judging by this recently released behind-the-scenes video, repairing the USS Enterprise was an absolutely daunting task.

In total, the Smithsonian invested two years in its repair as the museum was determined to make the prop look as it did when it was used on Star Trek. But, before restorations could even head underway, the museum had to first remove additional decore elements they'd added to the ship in the 1990s such as lighting and decals. Then, once several layers of paint were thinned from the piece, a team of artist were finally able to start restoring the USS Enterprise at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The new crew had to carefully color-match the ship and analyze its construction to ensure their restoration would use only canon-compliant materials. And much of the repair was spent with artists painstakingly buffing, painting, and detailing the USS Enterprise's infamous hull.

And, as the restoration is now complete, it appears as if the team's long hours were well worth the effort. Fans flocked to the National Air and Space Museum on July 1st to check out the newly restored piece in its swanky climate-controlled display. Without a doubt, it's new home is much nicer than its previous resting place in the museum's gift shop.

So, let's just hope any visitors such as Krall or any rogue Klingons don't ambush the display. It'd be a shame to see the ship fall away after an unfortunate attack of self-destruct sequence.