The first space shuttle to be built and flown. It was originally designed as a prototype to test the shuttle's performance while airborne and during landing.
It had a dummy engine and plastic plates instead of thermal protection tiles, and had to be attached piggyback to a Boeing 747 aircraft in order to become airborne. After four uncrewed and three crewed captive flights, the Enterprise was released on 12 August 1977 for the first of five independent piloted flights. In 2003, it was placed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
The craft was named after the spaceship of the Star Trek television series.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.