Celebrate 50 Years of “Star Trek” at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Celebrate 50 Years of “Star Trek” at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of “Star Trek,” which got its start with a weekly NBC series in Sept. 1966. To celebrate, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum has an immersive exhibition, “Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience” at Pier 86 this summer. There, guests take part in a 26th Century Career Day and, using interactive activities, train to become a member of Starfleet.

Ready for training at Starfleet Academy! (©Katie Labovitz)


I recently enrolled at Starfleet Academy and, after receiving a wristband to track my progress, participated in training including medicine, navigation skills, command, science, engineering and more. In addition to the hands-on activities, Starfleet cadets take various multiple-choice quizzes during the experience so that they receive the most accurate commissioning posts upon completion of the training.

Besides the training programs, there are costumes, character bios and props displayed throughout the experience, which focus on the television series’ over the past 50 years. I remember watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” a lot when I was a kid, so it was neat to see Captain Picard’s uniform right there next to Captain Kirk’s.

The captain's chair on the bridge is waiting for you. (©Katie Labovitz)


I was so excited that the Kobayashi Maru exercise was part of the experience. Though it’s a no-win scenario, I was super proud of myself for saving 15 crewmembers by the end of the test. You better believe I took the Starfleet Academy Experience very seriously and immediately texted my family to let them know that upon completing training, I was recommended for a Command position. My proficiency in both command and communications was top-notch, as were my diplomacy skills.

The Starfleet Academy Experience runs through Oct. 31, 2016. Advance reservations are recommended, as a limited number of people can access the exhibit at once and tickets are timed. VIP tickets are available and allow folks to enter the experience without having to select a time slot. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Space Shuttle Enterprise with Galileo shuttlecraft below. (©Katie Labovitz)


A huge fan of space in general, I also checked out the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the USS Intrepid’s Flight Deck. It is there that the space shuttle Enterprise has called its home since 2012. Finished assembled in 1976, Enterprise was a prototype NASA orbiter. Though it never went into space, Enterprise performed operational tests that aided in other space-related endeavors. Currently on display beneath Enterprise is Galileo, a shuttlecraft from the original “Star Trek” series that was used to carry crewmembers from the USS Enterprise to other planets.

Also on Intrepid’s Flight Desk are over two dozen aircraft, authentically restored to show how they would have looked in their prime. This collection represents all five branches of the U.S. armed forces, as well as includes some aircraft from all over the world.

View from the Flight Deck (©Katie Labovitz)


Intrepid itself has quite a history. Before becoming home of the Sea, Air & Space Museum, Intrepid was an active aircraft carrier, first joining the fleet in 1943 to fight in the Pacific during World War II. Intrepid took part in major battles, including Okinawa and was then decommissioned when the war ended. In the 1950s, Intrepid was upgraded to accommodate newer models of aircraft and recommissioned for use during the Cold War. In the 1960s, Intrepid was a recovery vessel for space missions before later being deployed for use in the Vietnam War. Intrepid was decommissioned for good in 1974, opened as the museum in 1982 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Guests can tour the inside of the aircraft carrier and see recreations of what life was like on board, as well as displays from what Intrepid faced in the 30 years it was in action.

It’s hard not to be in awe of how much Intrepid and its crews have gone through in the past 75 years. For more information about the museum and getting tickets to its amazing exhibits, click here.

The USS Intrepid (©Katie Labovitz)

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