The Space Shuttle Enterprise made its first free flight 36 years ago today. After separation from the modified Boeing 747 that carried it aloft, Enterprise landed on a dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base.

You can watch video of the flight here (embedding disabled for some reason).

The shuttle was originally going to be called the Constitution but a write-in campaign by dedicated Trekkers led to the name Enterprise being selected. Though intended to be refitted for spaceflight, Enterprise never went to space due to changes in the final shuttle design that made the refit cost prohibitive.

Image from NASA.