Gene Roddenberry was born in Texas in 1921 and was a decorated pilot in World War II. After the war, he joined the Los Angeles police and began writing movie scripts.

His script for a television series called Star Trek, was not that successful in the original 76-episode run on television but was wildly successful upon syndication. Lucrative movie deals and successor series such as Star Trek: The Next generation, ensured Roddenberry’s fortune and fame.

The screen writer died on October 24, 1991 of a heart attack.

In October, 1992, it is widely believed that a small cartridge of his ashes was sent to astronaut Jim Weatherbee, and through him, carried on board the space shuttle STS-52 Columbia, and released into space, although the event is neither acknowledged nor denied by NASA.

Gene RoddenberryIn 1997, another pinch of his ashes were hurled into outer space as part of the payload of the Pegasus XL rocket.

Another sample of his ashes is set to be dumped into outer space in 2012 upon the spaceship Voyager arranged by the private Houston-based firm Celestis Inc., which offers memorial spaceflight services; essentially popping out a tiny lipstick-size canister with the remains into the earth’s orbit ($2,4945), the moon’s orbit ($9,995) or into “deep space ($12,500).

Human cremated ashes can weight five pounds. For Roddenberry as with all Celetis customers, not all the ashes can be catapulted out into space, but only a:

“… symbolic portion of cremated remains. Your loved one will venture into space as part of a real space mission, riding alongside a commercial or scientific satellite.”

REFERENCES:

  • Celetis.com website at www.celestis.com
  • Celestis Press release May 8, 2009, Star Trek Spacecraft Containing The Remains Of Gene & Majel Roddenberry, James Doohan, And Fans Will Travel To Deep Space
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Famous Wills
  • Malik, Tariq, Ashes of Star Trek Creator’s Widow to Fly in Space, space.com, January 27, 2009, retrieved on Nov. 3, 2010 from www.space.com/news/090127-majel-roddenberry-ashes-space.html
  • Roddenberry.com