Even in another galaxy, the late Nichelle Nichols’ legacy reigns supreme!
Following the passing of the renowned “Star Trek” actress and STEM icon, it has been announced that her remains will be spread beyond just the United States, thanks to Celestis.
The Texas-based company provides “memorial spaceflight services” for individuals looking to celebrate the life of their loved one outside of just the Earth realm.
According to Space.com, the assignment for Nichols marks the company’s first-ever deep space mission.
Making History In The Afterlife
For Nichols, this is a testament that even in the afterlife, she continues to smash glass ceilings. As AfroTech previously reported, she first rose to prominence for her role as “Lt. Uhura” in “Star Trek,” which ultimately encouraged little Black girls across the world to know that they too could enter space.
Well, beyond the television series, Nichols continued to be a voice for change in the industry. She was tapped by NASA to recruit women and minorities into its space shuttle program. Thanks to her efforts, pivotal figures like the first Black woman in space, Dr. Mae Jemison, and the first American woman in space Sally Ride, were able to truly see themselves represented in an industry that did not always include women.
NASA even estimates that roughly 10,000 Black, Latino, and Asian astronauts, both male, and female, were able to defy odds thanks to Nichols’ influence as Lt. Uhura.
“Nichelle Nichols was a trailblazing actress, advocate, and dear friend to NASA. At a time when black women were seldom seen on screen, Nichelle’s portrayal as Nyota Uhura on ‘Star Trek’ held a mirror up to America that strengthened civil rights. Nichelle’s advocacy transcended television and transformed NASA,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson via the website following her passing.
The Final Mission
This won’t be Nichols’ first voyage into space. In fact, she flew aboard the C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed planets such as Mars and Saturn, as well as the SOFIA, which was a Boeing 747 that bore a telescope and was owned by NASA, throughout her career.
Now, her final space mission will take flight on Celestis’ upcoming “Enterprise Flight.” Nichols’ cremated remains, as well as a DNA sample, are set to board the aircraft.