Ashes of Star Trek cast and crew to launch into space on memorial mission

The ashes of Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, as well as her co-star James Doohan, show creator Gene Roddenberry and actress Majel Barrett-Roddenberry will be sent on the memorial flight. PHOTO: AFP

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA - Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, who died on July 30 at the age of 89, will be taking one last voyage into space.

The American star's ashes and DNA will join those of show creator Gene Roddenberry, actor James Doohan and actress Majel Barrett-Roddenberry on a memorial mission appropriately named the Enterprise flight later this year.

Nichols was revered for her role as Lieutenant Uhura, the communications officer on the starship USS Enterprise from the original series, which aired from 1966 to 1969.

Her co-star Doohan, who played Scottish chief engineer Scotty, died in 2005.

Roddenberry died in 1991, while his widow Majel - who had various roles in the franchise over the years - died in 2008.

The flight is organised by Celestis Memorial Spaceflights, which specialises in "alternative funeral services" in space for clients from all walks of life.

On Instagram, Celestis said it was "absolutely honoured" to have Nichols join the memorial flight, but did not fix a firm launch date for the mission, saying only that it will occur "later this year".

In a separate press release, it added there weremore than 150 flight capsules containing cremated remains (ashes), DNA samples and messages of greetings from clients worldwide "on an endless journey in interplanetary space".The capsules will take their journey on board a rocket called Vulcan, before being launched into deep space and entering a stable orbit around the sun.

Those with deep pockets can shell out to send their departed loved ones off this way , with reservations starting at US$12,500 (S$17,400).

Meanwhile, Celestis has invited fans to submit their tributes to Nichols before her final voyage takes place.

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