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Home > August 2016 > How Do You Clean a Shuttlecraft?
How Do You Clean a Shuttlecraft?
Posted: 8/18/2016 5:10:58 PM

The Intrepid Museum currently has the honor of hosting a legendary piece of the Star Trek legacy, the NCC-1701/7 Galileo shuttlecraft. This full-size prop was custom built for the original Star Trek television series in 1966. After the show’s cancellation, Galileo changed hands several times before it was meticulously restored by a Star Trek super-fan Adam Schneider and given a home at Space Center Houston. During the fictional Enterprise’s five-year mission, the shuttlecraft Galileo got into its fair share of scrapes and rough landings. So after Galileo’s long journey across the galaxy (from Houston to New York), it needed some archival care. That’s where the collections team here at the Museum came in. Before any cleaning could begin, the team documented Galileo’s condition upon arrival to ensure that the Museum would return it in the same shape. Then, once everything was unpacked and assembled inside the Space Shuttle Pavilion, the team got to work to make Galileo shine enough to pass even the most rigorous Starfleet inspection.

Here, a member of the collections team reaches high and low to clean Galileo before the exhibit opens to the public. Though Galileo is a TV prop to most people, the team treats it like an artifact to protect it during its stay at the Museum. To prepare it for public display, they delicately washed the entire surface of the shuttlecraft with Orvus Paste, a pH-neutral detergent, diluted in water. With headlamps to light their way and ladders to reach higher spots, the team crawled under and around Galileo to remove every scuff, stain and dust particle using special soft cleaning pads. With a long-handled duster, they were able to clean the very top of the shuttlecraft, which is impossible to reach even with a ladder (unless you’re from Taurus II).

Members of the collections team use an Orvus Paste solution in cups to make Galileo shine. Come see the results of their hard work! Galileo will be on display in the Space Shuttle Pavilion alongside the space shuttle Enterprise now through December 4.
Free with admission to the Space Shuttle Pavilion.




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