Photos: A Space Shuttle Called 'Enterprise'

A Shuttle in California

Air Force/TSGT James Pearson

A view of the NASA Orbiter OV-101 Enterprise on the launch tower as it would appear prior to launch. The pad check occurred in 1985.

Enterprise Under Lights

Air Force/SSGT Steve Martin

A nighttime view of the space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, resting on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six in 1985.

Line of Sight

: Air Force/TSGT James R. Pearson

The Space Shuttle Enterprise in launch position on the Space Launch Complex (SLC) #6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1985.

Enterprise: A West Coast Space Shuttle

Air Force/Walt Weible

Space Shuttle Enterprise in launch position on the Space Launch Complex (SLC) #6, commonly known as "SLICK 6", during the ready-to-launch checks to verify launch procedures in 1985.

UK Loves Space Shuttle Enterprise


Thousands of Britons surround the Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise at Stansted Airport, near London. The Enterprise atop its 747 carrier aircraft was viewed in London, Bonn-Cologne, West Germany, Rome and Ottawa, Canada, in addition to being shown at the Paris Air Show in June 1983.

Enterprise in the Smithsonian

Dane Penland/NASM

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum was the original museum home of space shuttle Enterprise. The shuttle will eventually move to New York City and be replaced at the Smithsonian by Discovery.

Space Shuttle Display Concepts Z. Pearlman

Display concepts for retired space shuttles. Top row, from left to right: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida; Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Ill.; Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York. Middle row: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Dayton, Ohio; National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Va.; Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Oklahoma. Bottom row: Space Center Houston, Texas; U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Ala.; The Museum of Flight, Seattle, Wash. For more, see’s: How To Display a Retired Space Shuttle

NASA Seeks Museums to Take Retired Shuttles

Move over Enterprise: the orbiter on display at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia may be replaced by another space shuttle.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum shuttle display conception


New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum's revised concept art surrounds the space shuttle with platforms and exhibits.

Space Shuttle Enterprise's Enterprise's Last day at the Smithsonian.

Clara Moskowitz/ reporter Clara Moskowitz visited Space Shuttle Enterprise on its final day at the Smithsonian in Virginia, April 19, 2012.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.