A couple of Star Trek fans are looking to save one of the original props from the classic series run from the ravages of time.
Adam Schneider and Alec Peters are close to a full restoration of the shuttle craft Galileo. The two purchased the prop a couple of years ago and have been working to restore it ever since.
“We looked for this for two years, and we finally were able to find it in its decrepit shape,” Peters tells SPACE.com. “It was important to preserve it because it is a piece of not just TV history, but our space program’s history.”
Schneider — an avid collector of spaceships and spaceship miniatures — won the large spacecraft during an online auction in June 2012. Since then, he has been involved in the restoration of the broken, rotted and battered ship.
Pieces of television show sets like Galileo were made to be broken down and dismantled at the end of shooting, so the fictional spacecraft model was not built to last, Peters said. And it shows. The metal framework of Galileo was disintegrating by the time Schneider started his work.
After winning his prize, Schneider shopped around for the perfect place to bring his idea for the restoration to life.
Schneider eventually found a boat refurbishment organization called Master Shipwrights in his home state of New Jersey that could cater the restoration to their specific needs. The ship-restorers-turned-spaceship-rescuers know how to cater to Galileo’s specific needs in order to rebuild it to last.
“If you looked prerestoration, all you would do is cry,” Schneider said. “When you look at the ‘post,’ you can see what the original design and intent was.”
Peters and Schneider want to share their “labor of love” with anyone who is interested in seeing it. After the refurbishment is finished, Galileo will be placed in a yet-to-be-named public space.
Many Trekkies have emailed photos and information to Peters and Schneider to aid in the restoration process. A fan in Las Vegas allowed Peters to measure an original piece of the ship the fan won at auction in order to be sure that part of the ship is true to its original form.