Star Trek Creator And Fan-Favorite Actors' Ashes Going to Space During 'Enterprise' Mission

Some iconic names from the Star Trek franchise are taking a voyage to the true final frontier: space. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his late wife (and iconic Star Trek actress) Majel Barrett and fan-favorite actor James "Scotty" Doohan will all have their ashes included as part of the 20th Celestis Memorial Spaceflight, on a mission appropriately named "Enterprise". The mission will be carried out using a debut Vulcan Centaur rocket (that name tho!); inlcluded with the aforementioned icons the rocket will also be carrying DNA samples and ashes from Star Trek fans in 150 capsules stored onboard. 

"We're very pleased to be fulfilling, with this mission, a promise I made to [actor] Majel Barrett Roddenberry in 1997 that one day we would fly her and husband/Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry together on a deep space memorial spaceflight," Charles Chafer, Celestis CEO and co-founder, said in his statement

Chafer also explained that "The mission is named Enterprise in tribute to them – and also fellow mission participant and beloved actor, James "Scotty" Doohan – as well as the many Star Trek fans who are joining them on this, the 20th Celestis Memorial Spaceflight. We look forward to launching this historic mission on a rocket named Vulcan."

Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO said that "We are honored that Celestis has selected ULA to launch this important mission. What a fitting tribute to the Roddenberry family and the Star Trek fans to be a part of the maiden flight of Vulcan, our next-generation rocket. ULA has a deep history with launching critical missions in support of national defense for our nation, so we are deeply humbled that many veterans also will be flying on this mission," said Bruno. "It is an amazing recognition of their service and sacrifice to our country from their loved ones."

Star Trek fans recently got the thrill of seeing one of the franchise's living legends also make the journey to space: William Shatner made his maiden voyage to the final frontier last fall aboard one of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin space flights. Shatner came back down to Earth (literally and figuratively) with a whole new perspective on the actual realm of the universe (space) he spent a lifetime pretending to explore:

"Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see ... it was unbelievable. I mean, the little things, the weightlessness, and to see the blue color whip by and now you're staring into blackness," Shatner said reflecting on his experience. "That's the thing. This covering of blue is this sheet, this blanket, this comforter of blue around that we have around us. We think 'oh, that's blue sky' and suddenly you shoot through it all of a sudden, like you whip a sheet off you when you're asleep, and you're looking into blackness — into black ugliness. And you look down, there's the blue down there, and the black up there, and there is Mother Earth and comfort and — is there death? Is that the way death is?"  

The Enterprise mission aboard the Vulcan rocket is scheduled for later this year.