According to news agency Reuters, the remains of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, and actor James Doohan who played the irascible Scotty, will head for the final frontier – deep space – next year. Going along for the ride will be the remains of famed science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, author of "2001: A Space Odyssey", and Roddenberry's wife, Majel, who played Star Trek's Nurse Chapel.
"What's very cool about this is that it's science fiction meeting reality," Celestis spokeswoman Pazia Schonfeld said.
The remains will be placed on a spacecraft right out of Star Trek called a solar sail – powered by sunlight and made to withstand high temperatures – and put into orbit around the sun, according to Celestis. The Sunjammer flight is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral in November 2014. Clarke is perhaps the most fitting person to ride on Sunjammer: he's the one who came up with the solar sail's name for a 1963 short story about a sun-yacht race.
After separation from a Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the Sunjammer spacecraft will open up its sail and head for a position about 1.8 million miles (3 million kilometers) from Earth, propelled by the force of photons from the sun. The overall aim of the mission is to test solar-sail propulsion techniques as well as monitor solar weather.
Godspeed to all!