January 27, 2009

Roddenberrys’ ashes headed to space

The ashes of late Star Trek luminaries Majel Barrett Roddenberry and Gene Roddenberry are to be launched into space in 2012, the BBC says.

Gene Roddenberry, who created Star Trek, died in 1991. His widow, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, died last month. She played Nurse Chapel in the original series and lent her voice to the computer of the Starship Enterprise in various Star Trek offshoots, including J.J. Abrams' upcoming big-screen prequel, Star Trek.

The BBC said Majel Roddenberry had some of her husband's remains taken aboard the maiden flight of a Celestis Inc. rocket in 1997. The company offers to bring people's cremated remains into space, then disperse them into the Earth's orbit, the lunar surface or deep space. The rockets transporting the ashes typically burn up on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

The couple's son, Eugene, told the British broadcaster Majel requested that her ashes, as well as those of her husband's, be launched into space together so the rocket would carry their spirits, memories, and the message of their life's work into the cosmos on an infinite journey into deep space.