Late ‘Star Trek’ Actress Nichelle Nichols’ Ashes to Be Sent to Space

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Actress Nichelle Nichols of “Star Trek” fame, who passed away last month at 89 years old, will have her ashes blasted into space as they head to the final frontier, according to the New York Post.

The trailblazing actress who played Lt. Nyota Uhura on TV’s original “Star Trek” series and broke racial barriers in the process, will have her ashes will be blasted into space aboard a special “Enterprise mission” later this year, the Post reported.

Nichols’ ashes will go aboard the United Launch Alliance’s “Star Trek”-inspired Vulcan rocket, and her remains will get into the space through Celestis Inc., which is the leader in memorial spaceflights, Fox News reported.

Nichols soared to galactic levels of fame when she was cast and starred in the original “Star Trek” series as Lt. Nyota Uhura in the 1960s. Uhura was among the first prominent roles for Black women on American television.

Nichols considered leaving “Star Trek” after being offered a role on Broadway, but was convinced to remain on the Enterprise after a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nichols decided to stay, realizing she could serve as an inspiration for countless generations of Black children and families.

Nichols’ reach stretched beyond television, especially when she started working with NASA, helping to recruit women of color into the agency. She did so through a collaboration with the governmental agency and her own company, Women in Motion.

The agency also paid tribute to Nichols, tweeting, “We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized to so many what was possible. She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars.”

Her role as Uhura eventually was written to become a love interest of Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. In 1968 they shared a kiss on the show – marking the first time in American television history that an interracial kiss aired.

In 2015, just three months after she recovered from a minor stroke at the age of 82, Nichols invited Inside Edition to spend an afternoon discussing her hopes and dreams and where her ambitions had taken her thus far.  

“Even from a little girl I wanted to go to the moon, you know. I wanted to go to the stars,” she said. 

Getting buried in space is not a new concept: In 1997 the idea came to fruition, and among the first space burials were “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and psychologist Timothy Leary.

In 1997, Inside Edition profiled the company launching the ashes into the space and spoke to the families of those who sent the remains of loved ones into space, including Roddenberry’s widow, who all said this is what the deceased wanted to do when they were alive.

Roddenberry’s widow, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who passed in 2008, was also buried in space.

Nichols won’t be alone on her journey to live long and prosper in outer space as the cremated remains of late “Star Trek” actor James Doohan, who played Montgomery “Scotty” Scott and died in 2005, and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull, who died in February, will also be included in the mission to mark the unique “Star Trek” reunion flight, Fox News reported.

 

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