Star Trek
The studio model of the Starship Enterprise on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. (Eric Long /Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum)

Smithsonian beams ‘Star Trek’ special

Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek by following two teams as they conserve iconic items from the series.

One of the teams featured in “Building Star Trek” has restored the 11-foot, 250-pound model of the U.S.S. Enterprise that was used in the original series. Restoration of the model was completed in May at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It is now on view in the museum’s Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall in Washington, D.C.

The other team, at Seattle’s EMP Museum, is working to rebuild the Enterprise’s bridge with original set pieces and props used by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the rest of the cast. The special airs at 7 p.m. CT Sept. 4.

The two-hour special also will examine the lasting influence Gene Roddenberry’s creation has had on the pop-culture, scientific and everyday worlds. The series, which debuted on Sept. 8, 1966, suggested cell phones, desktop computers, touch screens, space shuttles and other now-familiar technology.

The show’s influence on science hasn’t ended, either. The special will profile engineers and scientists currently working to make “Star Trek” technology a reality, including warp drives, medical tricorders, cloaking devices and tractor beams.

As part of its celebration, Smithsonian Channel is launching the Building Star Trek Sweepstakes with a prize trip to Star Trek: Mission New York. The three-day fan convention, with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels and screenings, takes place Sept. 2-4, 2016 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Winner gets a four-night trip to New York, VIP passes to the event and VIP passes to the Starfleet Academy Experience at the Intrepid Museum. See official rules at

“Star Trek” enters its 50th year with several events. A new movie, “Star Trek Beyond,” will premiere July 22. A slew of “Trek” panels and merchandising are set for the July 21-24 San Diego Comic-Con International. A new “Trek” series will premiere on CBS and CBS All Access in January. CBS recently unveiled a new Star Trek logo and teaser.

More news about Star Trek