'Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols's ashes to be sent into space
There is no doubt that the late legendary actor Nichelle Nichols belongs to the stars. Nichols is best remembered for her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on the cult-favorite Star Trek series. As a tribute, the earthly remains of the actor will reportedly be sent to space on a Vulcan Centaur rocket for one final and eternal expedition around the sun later this year.
Why does this story matter?
- Nichols died on July 30 in Silver City, New Mexico, due to natural causes. She was 89.
- She is widely famous for playing Uhura in the original Star Trek television series during 1966-69.
- Nichols also starred in the franchise's films from 1979 to 1991.
- Being the only person of color in the series during the US civil rights movement, she shattered many racial stereotypes.
Part of Nichols's remains to reunite with 'Star Trek' creator
As a tribute, part of Nichols's ashes and DNA will be launched into space by a Vulcan Centaur rocket by United Launch Alliance. The mission ensures her remains join other Star Trek members like creator Gene Roddenberry and late actor James Doohan on the flight. Roddenberry's wife and "First Lady of Star Trek" Majel Barrett-Roddenberry and Douglas Trumbull's remains will be launched as well.
Nichols's son expressed his thoughts about the tribute
Nichols's son Kyle Johnson spoke about the tribute to her in a press release and said, "I'm sure she would have much preferred to go on the shuttle but this is a pretty close second." "My only regret is that I cannot share this eternal tribute standing beside my mother at the launch." A date for the launch is reportedly yet to be finalized.
Stereotypes broken by Nichols, other major achievements
Nichols was a force to reckon with and essayed empowering roles at a time when people of color were given roles on the sidelines. She was hired by NASA in the '70s to recruit women and more marginalized groups into the space agency. Notably, she helped NASA get its first female astronaut, the first female Black astronaut, and the first Black male NASA chief.