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Star Trek Fan Group Wants Galileo Shuttlecraft

Original prop from 'Star Trek' back on the auction block

It looks like it's been through its own battle with the Klingons, but a dilapidated, 24-foot television prop is going on the market next month -- and one major Star Trek club wants to buy it.

The Federation, formally known as the International Federation of Trekkers, wants to Galileo shuttlecraft from the original "Star Trek" series, and is asking for help from Trekkies everywhere to help bring the full-size prop back to the fans.

Russ Haslage, president of the International Federation of Trekkers, has a plan to give a number of fans joint ownership of the prop piece, and even has one of the nation's best experts in Star Trek prop restoration standing by to bring the Galileo back to its former glory.

And it's going to need it. Auction lot photos show a shuttlecraft that is barely fit for the junkyard, towed on an old boat trailer that should probably seek retirement itself.

But still, it's a tangible piece of history.

"Galileo is one of the few authentic parts of the original series," Haslage told Airlock Alpha. "She's a star of a few episodes and maybe even more importantly, she is part of Gene Roddenberry's legacy. Galileo is almost 50 years old. She deserves to be saved after being neglected for so long."

The shuttlecraft was probably most famous for its inclusion in the episode "The Galileo Seven." It was the first command of Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, but was forced to crash land on Taurus II. In the series, the shuttle was lost when Spock turned the craft into a huge flare, hoping it would catch the attention of the Enterprise in orbit.

The prop was used for external scenes, but interior shots were done on a separate set. That means the inside of the Galileo prop itself is empty.

The prop has been circulating around fandom since it was recovered from the cancelled show, however, it spent years decaying in the elements before a restoration project in 1991 repaired most of the exterior and rebuilt the frame. However, that restoration was never completed, and the prop ended up spending many more years decaying outdoors, ending up in tis current dilapidated state.

"I would say that about 50 percent or more is original," Haslage said. "All of the exterior is original, as is the doors, view screens, engines and more."

Haslage says he's still working out the specifics of how a joint ownership would work, but basically, he plans for an investment group to help buy the Galileo at auction, and IFT would manage it.

The first move would be to relocate the shuttle from its current home to an hour away in Ohio where Haslage is based. After that, it would be moved to upstate New York and given to James Cawley (known for starring and creating in "Star Trek: New Voyages") to restore.

"James is the most talented and meticulous set builder in the Star Trek universe, and is best suited to restore Galileo," Haslage said.

Owners would receive certificates of ownership, and will be a part of group decisions made on what to do with Galileo. Some plans could include bringing it to various conventions in the Northeast and Midwest, or maybe even loaning it to "New Voyages" as a real piece of Star Trek history, and putting it back in front of the cameras.

However, the price may be a little steep. Auctioneers predict the selling price could go as high as $100,000, despite its current condition.

"I do not know if $100,000 is realistic in her current state, and considering she's been sitting outside in the Ohio weather for some time, possibly causing dry rot to the external (original) shell."

But that's not going to stop Haslage and IFT from trying. The auction begins June 18 and runs through June 28.

Anyone interested in possibly participating in the IFT group buy is encouraged to contact Haslage at ops@trekfederation.net. Please remember that investments like this do not guarantee financial return. Do not make investments in anything unless these are funds you can permanently part with.

Details about the auction itself, including some video of its 1991 partial restoration, can be found by clicking here.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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