Last month, we reported on an upcoming memorial spaceflight from space funeral firm Celestis to deliver the cremated remains and DNA to Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, who died July 30 at age 89.
It has now been revealed that another beloved Star Trek alum is embarking on a ride aboard Celestis’s Enterprise Flight memories along with other notable Trek’s deceased luminaries, as the reunion will now include the late DeForest Kelly’s DNA.
The Texas-based company provides respectful “spaceflight memorial services” for people who hope to celebrate and honor the lives of their loved ones with an extraordinary extraterrestrial experience.
On August 25, it became known that Nichelle Nichols had been selected to participate in the first-ever Celestis deep space mission. Official announcements about Kelly’s addition were made on Thursday in honor of Star Trek Day.
(Image credit: Celestis)
“I donated a lock of hair so ‘Dee’ could join his shipmates on their eternal journey into interstellar space,” said Chris M. Smith, a friend of Kelly’s who provided a DNA sample through a lock of his hair. “The mission just failed.” Don’t feel complete without Dr. McCoy on board. I think “D” would like to “jump the galaxies” again with his cast and crewmates. So, “the second star to the right and straight until the morning”, Dee! Loving you was easier than anything we’ll ever do again!”
Launched later this year by a United Launch Alliance rocket, appropriately named Vulcan Centaur, Kelly’s DNA will be accompanied by the remains of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Star Trek engineer James “Scotty” Doohan, and Douglas Trumbull, visual effects master of 2001: A Space Odyssey, among many others.
Kelly passed away on June 11, 1999 and made his Star Trek debut in 1966, where he played the short-tempered Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy on the popular NBC sci-fi series for three seasons and starred in six Star Trek films. “Art films. In addition to his duties as a physician aboard the USS Enterprise, Kelly was a distinguished Hollywood veteran of dozens of TV shows and films, especially Westerns.
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)
“It is especially noteworthy that we are announcing the addition of DeForest Kelley to our Star Trek Day Enterprise Flight,” said Charles M. Chafer, co-founder and CEO of Celestis, Inc. “No deep space mission would be complete without a ship’s doctor.”
Looking at the trajectory of this Enterprise Flight, the spacecraft will travel 93 million miles to 186 million miles (150 million to 300 million kilometers) into deep space beyond the Earth-Moon system. The memorial mission will carry over 150 flight capsules of cremated ash remains, personal messages and congratulations, and DNA samples from customers around the world on a timeless odyssey into space.
In addition to taking this precious payload out of low Earth orbit, the main goal of the Vulcan flight will be to direct the Peregrine lunar lander of the Pittsburgh aerospace company Astrobotic towards the Moon. The upper stage of the Vulcan Centaur will go into deep space, enter orbit around the Sun, becoming the most remote outpost of mankind, which will be renamed the Enterprise Station.
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