The legend of the recently passed Nichelle Nichols continues as her ashes will be sent into space later this year. The Star Trek icon’s ashes will be part of Enterprise Flight, a special memorial launch from Celestis.
Nichelle back in space
Memorial spaceflight company Celestis, Inc. announced plans to honor the late Nichelle Nichols by launching a symbolic portion of her cremated remains and a DNA sample into deep space onboard its upcoming historic Enterprise Flight, which launches later this year on the aptly named Vulcan rocket.
Enterprise Flight will include cremains of other Star Trek legends including creator Gene Roddenberry and his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, James Doohan (Scotty), and visual effects master Douglas Trumbull. “We are truly honored to add a legendary actress, activist, and educator to the Enterprise Flight manifest,” said Celestis CEO Charles M. Chafer in a statement. “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.”
Nichols will be joined by her son, Kyle Johnson, who will submit his DNA to allow him to take this journey with his mother. “My only regret is that I cannot share this eternal tribute standing beside my mother at the launch.” Said Nichelle Nichols’ son Kyle Johnson. “I know she would be profoundly honored for this unique experience and enthusiastically encourage ALL of her FANS to join us vicariously by contributing your thoughts, affections, memories, NN inspired successes, dreams, and aspirations via email to be launched with her on this flight! WOW!”
The Enterprise Flight will travel between 150 million to 300 million kilometers into deep space putting it well beyond the Earth-Moon system to interplanetary space. The following video outlines more details on Enterprise Flight.
Fans around the world will be able to officially celebrate Nichelle and her life by sending their name and tributes to her for free on the Celestis website enterprise-flight.com. Those names and messages will be digitized and launched on the rocket accompanying her on her journey to the cosmos.
Although the announcement doesn’t specifically say so, this is presumably the maiden launch of the Vulcan rocket, which is United Launch Alliance’s successor to both the Atlas and Delta family of space launch vehicles. United Launch Alliance is the space launch partnership of Boeing (Delta) and Lockheed-Martin (Atlas).
The maiden flight will launch the Peregrine lunar lander for Astrobotics.
Vulcan-Centaur 1 is still officially planned for late this year, but most in the industry expect it to slip into early 2023 due to delays with the engines.
– [ ] Space-The Final Frontier – This is the voyage of the Starship Enterprise – her epic mission and Trek Tribute – to explore strange new worlds & civilizations. To go where no Trek crew has gone before. Godspeed.
Very lovely idea!