Nichelle Nichols' ashes to be sent into space

A portion of Nichelle Nichols' ashes will be flown into space on a special memorial flight.

Officials at Celestis Inc., a company that specialises in memorial spaceflights, announced on Thursday that they would be sending a "symbolic portion" of the Star Trek actress' cremated remains into space following her death in July.

"We are truly honored to add a legendary actress, activist, and educator to the Enterprise Flight manifest," Charles M. Chafer, co-founder and chief executive of Celestis Inc., said in a statement, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Now our Enterprise Flight will have on board the person who most completely embodied the vision of Star Trek as a diverse, inclusive, and exploring universe."

Nichols' ashes and a sample of her DNA will be onboard the Vulcan rocket when it takes off later this year. The spaceflight will travel beyond the Earth-moon system and launch more than 200 capsules of ashes, tributes and DNA into space.

Her ashes will be joined by a sample of her son Kyle Johnson's DNA as well as a portion of the remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, special effects master Douglas Trumbull, and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty.

Nichols, who was best known for playing communications officer Nyota Uhura in the original '60s Star Trek series and its film spin-offs, died of heart failure on 30 July aged 89.