Star Trek stars' remains to be launched into space

Roddenberrys and Arthur C. Clarke's ashes will blast off in 2014

Some of the remains of sci-fi legend Arthur C. Clarke, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and the actor who played chief engineer Scotty in the popular TV show, will be flown into space next year.

The Houston-based company Celestis, which has been flying cremated remains into outer space for the past 16 years, announced Thursday that a few grams each of the ashes of Roddenberry, his wife and Star Trek actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry and James Doohan, who played the Enterprise's chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott will be onboard NASA's experimental solar sail when it launches in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Some of Clarke's hair will be on the same flight.

Celestis already flew some of Gene Roddenberry's remains into space on a 1997 flight. However, this will be the first time that the husband and wife's ashes will be flown into space together, according to the company.

"Now we look forward to fulfilling Majel Roddenberry's wish by launching Gene and Majel on their own, personal star trek ... deep into the final frontier," the company said on its website.

Celestis is working with NASA to send the sci-fi fan favorites' ashes into space.

NASA's Sunjammer project is designed to demonstrate the space agency's newest propulsion technology -- solar sails. A spacecraft will have an ultra-thin, 13,000-square-foot sail that should unfurl in space, using the pressure of sunlight to propel the spacecraft forward without the use of traditional fuels.

The spacecraft is scheduled to lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral toward the end of 2014.

Gene Roddenberry was a well-known futurist and is best known for creating the original Star Trek television series, which gave birth to the entire Star Trek television and movie franchise. He died Oct. 24, 1991.

His wife, Majel Barrett, was an actress best known for portraying Nurse Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek series, as well as Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She also was the voice of most onboard computer interfaces throughout the series. She died Dec. 18, 2008.

Clarke, who died on March 19, 2008, was a British inventor and science fiction writer, who penned 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This article, Star Trek stars' remains to be launched into space, was originally published at

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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