The late actress Nichelle Nichols, better known as Lieutenant Uhura in “Star Trek,” will become the latest member of the 1960s television series to be honored with some of her remains transported into space.
Nichols, who died July 30 at age 89, is known for helping break racial stereotypes and redefining Hollywood roles for black actors at the height of the US civil rights movement, as one of the first black women to portray an empowered character in the film. television network.
Now, she has been added to the posthumous passenger manifest of a real-life rocket tasked with transporting a collection of vials containing cremated ashes and DNA samples from dozens of space enthusiasts on a final, eternal journey around the sun, according to honor organizers.
The release date has not yet been set.
Other “Star Trek” cast members and executives who have had their remains launched into space include James Doohan, who played the series’ chief engineer Scotty, and “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
Also joining the release are the remains of Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who played nurse Christine Chapel in the series, and renowned sci-fi visual effects artist Douglas Trumbull, whose work has been featured in films such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”.
The launch is organized by Celestis Inc, a Texas-based company that has carved out a unique niche in the burgeoning commercial space sector, offering a measure of cosmic immortality to customers who can afford a dramatic farewell, which hires private rocket ventures.
Celestis has not publicly disclosed the fees and other financial details of its service.
The next memorial flight will be aboard a Vulcan Centaur rocket, still under development by the Boeing and Lockheed Martin United Launch Alliance (ULA) joint venture.
The plans call for the more than 200 capsules carrying human remains and DNA for what Celestis is calling “Enterprise Flight” enter the upper stage of the rocket that will fly into space, beyond the gravitational pull of Earth and the Moon, and, eventually, a perpetual solar orbit will enter, said Charles Chafer, co-founder and CEO of Celestis.
“It’s a wonderful, eternal memorial to her,” Nichols’ son Kyle Johnson told Reuters.
In the 1970s, Nichols was hired by NASA to help recruit more marginalized groups and women into the space agency, where she was influential in attracting talent such as the first American astronaut, Sally Ride, the first black astronaut, Mae Jemison, and the first NASA’s black chief Charlie Bolden.
Source: CNN Brasil