The world recently lost a legend when actress and activist Nichelle Nichols passed away at the age of 89. As Lt. Nyota Uhura, she appeared in three seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series, the animated series, and six feature films. But more importantly, Nichelle Nichols spent much of her life recruiting women and minorities into the space program for NASA. The documentary Woman in Motion chronicled her amazing story. So it is only fitting that her final resting place should be out among the stars themselves.
According to Gizmodo, a portion of Nichols’ ashes is heading into outer space aboard a rocket appropriately named the Vulcan. Nichols’ son, Kyle Johnston, donated the ashes. In addition, the Celestis website has a memorial for Nichols’ fans looking to honor the iconic star. They can do this by sending in writing, music, photos, art, and more. “All names and messages will be digitized and launched with her on her journey” using something they call the “Celestis Mindfile.”
Aside from Nichols, other Star Trek icons who have left us are part of this historic flight. People like series creator Gene Roddenberry and Nichols’ co-stars Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Nurse Chapel). Also, James Doohan (Scotty) will have a portion of his ashes on this unique space flight. Finally, Star Trek: The Motion Picture effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull will also be a part of the Celestis flight.
The first Celestis Voyager Memorial Spaceflight, the Enterprise Flight, will launch from Earth and travel three million kilometers beyond into deep space. The official website describes it as “an infinite journey of tribute and remembrance.” As Spock would say, “fascinating.” It’s also fitting that the first Celestis flight has the names of two different iconic Starfleet vessels. The Celestis flight is open to anyone who can afford the hefty price tag. The site says deep space launches start at $12,500.