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The Final Resting Place Of Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols Couldn't Be More Perfect

The late Nichelle Nichols has long been lauded for her groundbreaking role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on the original "Star Trek" series and subsequent films, with the actress even recalling how she was about to resign from the show when none other than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her not to. "Don't you understand what this man [Gene Roddenberry] has achieved? ... For the first time on television, we will be seen as we should be, seen every day as intelligent, quality, beautiful people who can sing, dance, and can go into space. Who can be lawyers, who can be teachers, who can be professors... and yet you don't see it on television until now." Nichols recalled to the Television Academy Foundation of King's words.

After the series ended, NASA asked Nichols if she would manage a public relations campaign for NASA to help the agency diversify and convince more women, people of color, and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds to apply. She agreed, and 1978's newest astronauts included Guy Bluford and Dr. Sally Ride, respectively the first Black American and the first American woman in space (via NASA.gov). Her dedication to getting women and minorities into space was impressive, making her final resting place all the more perfect.

Nichelle Nichols' ashes are headed to deep space

Nichelle Nichols' son Kyle Johnson has donated a portion of her ashes to be launched into space aboard the appropriately named Vulcan Rocket on the Enterprise Flight. The first Celestis Voyager Service is expected to launch by the end of 2022, and fans are encouraged to go to the Celestis website to send a tribute message or photo to be included on the MindFile, which will be launched along with the Enterprise Flight. According to Celestia, a portion of the proceeds will go to the recently created Nichelle Nichols Foundation, to "continue her legacy to inspire the next generation to aim for the stars and lead us closer to Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future," per SpaceRef.com.

Heading to space on the Enterprise Flight with Nichols' ashes will be those of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and his wife Majel, and James Doohan, best known as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the original series and films alongside Nichols. Also aboard will be the ashes of acclaimed VFX pioneer Douglas Trumbull, best known for his work on "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," "Blade Runner," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and the ashes of astronauts Phil Chapman and L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Speaking about the launch, Johnson told TMZ, "I'm sure she would have much preferred to go on the shuttle, but this was a pretty close second."