'Star Trek' actress Nichelle Nichols' ashes to be launched into space

'Star Trek' actress Nichelle Nichols' ashes to be launched into space

She is not the first person to be associated with the 'Star Trek' franchise who will leave the earthly realm after death quite literally.

She will boldly go where only few man -- or woman -- have gone before. Nichelle Nichols, who who played the role of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the 'Star Trek' TV series and movies, died of heart failure on July 30 at the age of 89. Now, the ashes of the legendary actress will be sent to outer space by a rocket appropriately called Vulcan by United Launch Alliance through Celestis Inc, the company that specialises in memorial spaceflights. She is not the first person to be associated with the 'Star Trek' franchise who will leave the earthly realm after death quite literally. Earlier, the remains of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the entire popular science fiction franchise, and his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, were also given what is called a space burial -- Gene's in 1991 and Majel's in 2008.

James Doohan, who played the role of lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott in the franchise, was also bidden adieu in the same manner.

'Star Trek' actress Nichelle Nichols' ashes to be launched into space
Actress Nichelle Nichols, 'Star Trek's' trail-blazing Uhura, dies at 89

In a press release Charles M. Chafer, co-founder and CEO of Celestis Inc said, "We are truly honored to add a legendary actress, activist, and educator to the Enterprise Flight manifest. Now our Enterprise Flight will have on board the person who most completely embodied the vision of Star Trek as a diverse, inclusive, and exploring universe."

As per media reports, the flight will take Nichols' ashes to deep space, about 150-300 million kilometers, far beyond the earth and moon system.

Apart from 'Star Trek', Nichols was also a volunteer with the US space agency NASA in a programme to recruit minority and female employees. The project is credited for the recruitment of Dr. Sally Ride, the first female American astronaut, and United States Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, who was the first African-American astronaut.

An acclaimed 2019 documentary titled 'Woman in Motion' directed by Todd Thompson details her contribution towards making NASA a more inclusive and diverse place.

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