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Orbiter prototpye Enterprise in flight
Above, the orbiter prototype Enterprise separates from the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft for its first flight without a protective tail cone, in 1977.
The prototype space shuttle was named after the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, following a letter-writing campaign by the TV show's fans.
Enterprise conducted numerous flight tests in the atmosphere in 1977, but was not equipped with engines or a heat shield, and was never intended to be sent into space.
It is currently on display at the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport in Virginia.
Photo credit: Nasa