Star Trek Fan Turns Minivan Into Shuttlecraft

A Star Trek fan took their love of the franchise to the next level by turning their minivan into a Starfleet shuttlecraft. A Redditor noticed the converted vehicle in their town and took photos. It’s modeled on the Goddard, a shuttle used by the USS Enterprise-D in the 24th century. The shuttlecraft appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes “The Next Phase,” transporting crew and supplies between the Enterprise and a damaged Romulan vessel, and in “Relics,” where Montgomery Scott borrowed the vessel. This converted minivan saw “active duty” at Burning Man in 2014. You can see for yourself in the video above.

In “The Next Phase," Lt. Worf and Lt. Cmdr. Data take the Goddard from the Enterprise to a damaged Romulan science ship, bringing supplies and equipment along with them. They didn’t know that the vessel also carried Ensign Ro Laren and Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge, both of whom were phase-cloaked following a transporter accident.

In “Relics,” the Enterprise-D crew discovers and revives Montgomery Scott, who was chief engineer of the original Enterprise under Capt. James T. Kirk. Scott's ship had crashed onto the surface of a Dyson sphere. Scott survived for 75 years in his ship’s transporter buffer awaiting rescue. Scott helped free the Enterprise-D from the Dyson sphere. As thanks, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard gave the Goddard to Scott on loan so that he could continue the journey to a colony where he’d planned to retire before crashing into the sphere. Scott decided to postpone his retirement and took the shuttle elsewhere.

Spotted at junker in my little town

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the shuttle is "named for American rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945), inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket." It is a Type 6 shuttlecraft. Other of its kind include the Berman, the Curie, the Fermi, the Galileo, the Hypatia, the Justman, the Magellan, the Piller, the Sacajawea, and the Verne.

Shuttlecrafts have a long history in the Star Trek universe, going back to Star Trek: The Original Series. Gene Roddenberry’s idea was to use transporters for ship-to-planet transportation, saving money on building shuttlecraft sets and saving time by being able to skip over shots of a shuttle departing and landing. Eventually, Roddenberry and his colleagues realized certain stories needed a shuttlecraft. Such ships were introduced in the episode “The Galileo Seven,” in which Spock takes a science team aboard the shuttlecraft Galileo for a mission that does not go as planned.

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(h/t autoevolution)