The ashes of Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols headed into solar orbit in the ‘eternal monument’ | US News
Nichelle Nichols becomes the latest member of the original Star Trek TV series to be memorialized by having some of her remains flown into space.
Nichols, best known for her role on the series as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the 1960s, helping to shatter racial stereotypes at the height of the civil rights movement, died in July aged 89.
Now she has been added to a commemorative flight in a rocket ship because she was meant to carry cremated ashes and DNA samples from deceased space enthusiasts on a final and eternal journey around the sun, according to the honor’s organizers.
The star’s son, Kyle Johnson, described it as “a wonderful memorial to her, an everlasting one.”
A date for the launch has not yet been set.
Nichols won’t be the first Star Trek hero to have his remains taken into space – with other cast and executives including James Doohan, who played the series’ chief engineer Scotty, and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry also appearing of the trip were.
Her death sparked a spate of tributes for the African-American actress, whose on-screen interracial kiss with co-star William Shatner was unknown at the time.
Like other original cast members, Nichols also appeared in six theatrical spin-offs beginning in 1979, starring Star Trek: The Motion Picture and fan conventions.
She also served as a recruiter for NASA for many years, helping bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps.
The remains of Roddenberry’s wife Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who played nurse practitioner Christine Chapel on the series, and renowned sci-fi visual effects artist Douglas Trumbull, whose work has appeared in films such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, will also be added Start.
The launch is being organized by Texas-based Celestis Inc, which offers a degree of cosmic immortality to customers who can afford a dramatic farewell.
More than 200 capsules containing human remains and DNA are to be loaded into the upper stage of the rocket, which will fly further into space – beyond the gravitational pull of the earth and moon – and eventually enter an eternal orbit around the sun.