Ashes of 'Star Trek' Creator's Widow to Fly in Space

Ashes of 'Star Trek' Creator's Widow to Fly in Space
The ashes of Majel Barrett Roddenberry will be launched into space alongside those of her late husband, 'Star Trek' creator Gene Roddenberry, in 2012. (Image credit:

The ashesof actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of ?Star Trek? creator GeneRoddenberry, will be launched into deep space alongside those of her husband ina memorial spaceflight slated for 2012.

Roddenberrydiedof leukemia last month at age 76 and was involved with her late husband?s ?Trek?creation for more than 40 years, most recently as the voice of the ship?scomputer in the upcomingfilm ?Star Trek? directed by J.J. Abrams.

She wastouted as ?The First Lady of Star Trek? and had been involved in the franchisesince its beginning, when she portrayed Number One - the second in command ofthe starship Enterprise - in the original series pilot. She later returned asNurse Christine Chapel, Lwaxana Troi and the computer?s voice across all five television seriesin the franchise. ?

?I am pleased to announce today that we have planned a verycompelling future memorial service for my mother and father,? said Roddenberry?sson Eugene Roddenberry, Jr., in a statement. ?The spacecraft iscurrently planned for launch in 2012 and it will carry their spirits, theirmemories, and the message of their life?s work into the cosmos.?

The ashesof Majel and Gene Roddenberry will be launched on the Voyager MemorialSpaceflight Service arranged by the Houston-based firm Celestis, Inc., which offersa range of memorial spaceflight services, including burial on the moon.Celestis? next flight, the Earth Orbit Service, is due to launch later thisyear.

The companylaunched a portion of Gene Roddenberry?s ashes into space in 1997 along withthose of 23 other people during its debut Founders Flight, which launchedaboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus rocket. Gene Roddenberry died in 1991.

In 2007,Celestis launchedanother group of ashes, which included those of ?Star Trek? actor JamesDoohan and Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, aboard a suborbital UP Aerospacerocket that launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico. ?

?Now, we look forward to fulfilling Majel Roddenberry?s wish bylaunching Gene and Majel on their own, personal star trek ? deep into the finalfrontier,? Celestis officials said.

The public can pay tribute to Majel Barrett Roddenberry and Gene Roddenberry by submitting messages that will accompany their ashes into space here at the Celestis Web site.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.