The remains of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of sci-fi fantasy television series Star Trek, are to head for the final frontier next year. Scotty will be going along with him.
Rodenberry’s cremated remains, along with those of his wife, Majel, and actor James Doohan, who played starship engineer Scotty in the original 1960s Star Trek series, are to be launched into deep space in November next year by the memorial spaceflight company Celestis.
They will be part of a cargo that is to include other cremated remains, written messages and samples of DNA in capsules sent by the general public, Celestis said on Thursday.
“What’s very cool about this is that it’s science fiction meeting reality,” Celestis spokeswoman Pazia Schonfeld said.
The messages and remains will be placed on a spacecraft called a solar sail, which is powered by sunlight and made to withstand high temperatures, and headed for orbit around the sun, Celestis said.
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The solar sail’s journey will be captured by cameras on board the craft and streamed live online.
The flight will not be the first time the remains of Roddenberry, who died in October 1991 at age 70, and Doohan, who was 85 when he died in 2005, have been in space.
Roddenberry was part of Celestis’ inaugural flight in 1997, when his remains were taken on a trip into space before returning to Earth. An urn containing some of Doohan’s remains were sent into space last year.
Members of the public are invited to join Roddenberry and Doohan on Celestis’ Sunjammer Voyager Mission, submitting names for free and samples of writing or messages at a price. Sending cremated remains into deep space starts at US$12,500.