On January 8th, the Enterprise Memorial Space Flight will launch from Cape Canaveral with the ashes and DNA of some of Star Trek's greatest actors, contributors, and fans. Aboard will be Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, his wife, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, and the DNA of their son, Rod Roddenberry, to name a few.
I had the opportunity to speak with Roddenberry via Zoom to talk about what this upcoming voyage to space means to him, and what he calls this "incredible, magical thing." And, being the son of Star Trek's creator, it's not surprising that Roddenberry has an idea about what he'd like to see happen in the future even though he knows it probably won't. (But we can still dream, can't we?)
"So I believe all of this is more symbolic and beautiful but there’s this science fiction part of me that likes to play with the idea that aliens will one day, thousands of years, 100,000s of thousands of years, will come across this DNA and somehow resurrect it. Now, sadly my parents, as weird as this to say, are in ash form, but perhaps there will be a technology that can resurrect them, and they can live happily together on this other plane of existence with aliens. That’s just the sci-fi in me. I don’t really believe that’s going to happen, but I like to have fun with that sort of notion. So, for me, it’s symbolic. Just to be symbolically with my parents being launched out into space is an incredible, magical thing that’s...it’s just kind of fun to talk about. "- Rod Roddenberry
Roddenberry went on to call this mission appropriate, especially for the people involved in Trek.
"It is a huge undertaking, and I appreciate Celestis for making it happen. It just seems poetically perfect. I mean, to go where no one has gone before. Five year mission into space. I mean, Star Trek is about space exploration, and to take nothing away from anyone else in any industry on planet Earth, but as far as people who seem to be most appropriate to be launched out of there, I would say Star Trek casts, creators, and contributors certainly should be at the top of that opportunity to get out there, and it just seems appropriate.- Rod Roddenberry
Poetically perfect is a beautiful way to describe the upcoming mission that will include other members of Star Trek such as Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, and DeForest Kelley, who were part of The Original Series and Gene Roddenberry's dream.
The launch, which has now been scheduled for January 8th, has been a long time in the making, and now that it's close to taking place, Roddenberry sums it up perfectly by saying that if his parents' essence should be anywhere, it's in the cosmos. We couldn't have said it better!