133. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs (Gorog) to President Ford1 2
- Naming the Space Shuttle
Next Wednesday you will meet with Dr. James Fletcher of NASA for a substantive meeting at which time you will be presented with a mock-up of the space shuttle, the full scale version of which will be rolled out in California later this month. NASA has not announced a name as of yet for the shuttle, and they are holding this announcement until your meeting with Fletcher.
Dr. Fletcher is not adverse to the name “Enterprise” for the space shuttle, and I suggest that you ask that it be so named for the following reasons:
- NASA has received hundreds of thousands of letters from the space-oriented “Star Trek” group asking that the name “Enterprise” be given to the craft. This group comprises millions of individuals who are deeply interested in our space program.
- The name “Enterprise” is tied in with the system on which the Nation’s economic structure is built.
- Use of the name would provide a substantial human interest appeal to the rollout ceremonies scheduled for this month in California, where the aeronautical industry is of vital importance.
In short, this situation could provide the same public interest as the CB radio provided for Mrs. Ford.
Your approval is sought to have NASA use the name “Enterprise” on the space shuttle.
Approve [GRF initialed]
- Source: Ford Library, Presidential Handwriting File, Subject File, Box 34, Outer Space. No classification marking. Ford initialed his approval. The September 7 document reporting the reactions of White House staff is attached to the memorandum. The decision in favor of “Enterprise” was announced on September 9, one day after the meeting with NASA officials.↩
- The memorandum recommended naming the first space shuttle “Enterprise” as a response to appeals by supporters of the television show “Star Trek.”↩