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Ashes of "Star Trek" creator and wife rocketing to deep space
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  • SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 26 (AFP) Jan 26, 2009
    Ashes of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and his actress wife will blast toward the far reaches of the cosmos in keeping with the show's famed opening line "Space, the final frontier."

    Majel Roddenberry died in December, two months before her 77th birthday, and will posthumously fulfill a "dream of journeying through space with her husband," according to Celestis Inc, the US company behind the memorial flight.

    Celestis sent some of Gene Roddenberry's ashes into orbit around the earth in a premier Founders Flight rocket launch in 1997.

    Gene Roddenberry died six years earlier with a wish to explore space in keeping with characters in his adventure television show that first aired in the late 1960s and still has a strong cult following.

    The rifle-cartridge sized canister of ashes, along with the remains of others onboard the rocket, was ostensibly burned into oblivion as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere.

    "We are deeply honored to have flown Gene on our first mission, and to be entrusted by the Roddenberry family to fulfill Majel's dream of flying in space with her husband," said Celestis president Charles Chafer.

    A launch date has yet to be determined.

    Majel Roddenberry was remembered as "The First Lady of Star Trek" due to her close relationship to her husband and roles in many "Star Trek" film and television episodes.

    She played Nurse Chapel in the "Star Trek" television shows and had parts in other classic programs including "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Lucy Show."

    "Star Trek" fans can visit the Celestis.com website to submit messages to accompany the couple into space.

    "Celestis will be fulfilling a pledge made to my mother in 1995," said the couple's son, Eugene Roddenberry.

    "To launch both my mother and father together, side by side, and carry their spirits, memories, and the message of their life's work into the cosmos on an infinite journey into deep space."

    The ashes of "Star Trek" actor James Doohan, who played the USS Enterprise's chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, were sent into space in April 2007.

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