On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek were on hand at the dedication ceremony.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle. It was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform test flights in the atmosphere.
It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight. On September 17, 1976, the first full scale prototype was completed.
Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have made it the second space shuttle to fly after Columbia.
However, during the construction of Columbia, details of the final design changed, particularly with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings.
Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the country. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be less costly to build Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been created as a test article.
Similarly, Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares instead.