Full-scale Space Shuttle model from 1975

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 3355 3238660130 8069Ce124D O This is a full-scale model of the Space Shutttle Constitution (eventually renamed Enterprise) from 1975. Flickr user Aaron Harvey was 5-years-old when his grandfather, who worked at Lockheed at the time, gave him these marvelous snapshots. Click to see them larger at Harvey's Flickr stream. (via Ariel Waldman)


  1. Moloko, they are one in the same! Those are my pics and since I was 5 when I got them I didn’t get all the details right. I was later corrected that this was the shuttle mock-up, not the landing body. The landing body pics, sadly, are probably lost somewhere to time with my original Battlestar Galactica and Starbird toys.

  2. So, the original name for the shuttle Enterprise was “Constitution”, and in Star Trek, the starship Enterprise was Constitution-class, named for the first ship of that class.

    Life imitates art. I’m geekin’ out, here.

  3. So, it’s late October 1974. My mom has stopped at the nearby 7-11 to pick up her daily nicotine fix and sends me in to buy them. Even though I was all of eleven years of age, the store manager knew me and was aware that, with my asthma, smoking was probably a habit I’d never pick up. As I was heading in, I glanced over at the magazine rack when I saw the cover of the November issue of Popular Science. I had been following the space shuttle as best I could, but that cover blew me away; there it was, in all its double-delta glory. The second image up there is the one that graces that cover. 
    I took the change from my mother’s Marlboro purchase and bought the magazine. It was with me until 1981.
    Thanks for posting those images and the links.

  4. Sorry, I call fake. Zoom in on the front wheels of the side view image, and the tail shot of the front view image. There’s obvious cut-out edges and evidence of masking. Also, the lighting is incorrect in the tail shot. Also, the tail (if you could see it), would be too large to fit in the scene.

    1. Sorta. The mockup lacks its left wing, and the ceiling where it is currently (indeed, where I’ve been told it has always resided) is pretty low, so the rudder is obvious. Editing took place for effect. But the mock-up is real, still exists and is facing something of an uncertain future.
      Not sure if the image is included in the aforementioned lists, but we have this one, which shows pretty much the actual appearance of the mockup (notice how they always avoid showing the left wing)…


      Regarding its fate…


  5. Looking at this made me think of the 1975 Japanese moped I am working on.

    And so I think about how far moped technology has come, though I like my vintage bike a modern moped, costing a quarter as much once inflation is accounted for, is “better” in almost every way.

    And then I think of the USA’s manned space program over that same time span…

    Remember when the USA used to be world leader in technological advancements?

  6. Sure, it’s not an Actual shuttle, but it’s pretty damn close, this needs to be on display somewhere!

  7. Ah, thanks Robert, that’s a  much more convincing picture . I wasn’t calling the mock-up fake, but the photos have a bit of 70s pre-photoshop-trickery going on for sure, which made me wonder about its actual size.

  8. Where is it now? And why isn’t some smart corporate businessman (rofl) pulling it out of mothballs and auctioning it to the highest bidding museum?

  9. Little known fact: This mockup was constructed of plywood & PVC pipes for support, fleshed out with rice crispy treats and then covered in rolled fondant.  

    It was immediately cut up and served following the photo shoot. 

    Everyone went nuts!

  10. The building in which it was photographed appears to be the same one that it’s currently housed in.  Downey “Studios” is what the facility is now known as and the mock-up is behind chain link and plastic sheeting on the north end of  Stage One.  It definitely could use some TLC.

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