Nichelle Nichols' ashes could 'float in space for eternity'

Nichelle Nichols passed away in July 2022 credit:Bang Showbiz
Nichelle Nichols passed away in July 2022 credit:Bang Showbiz

Nichelle Nichols' ashes could float in space for eternity.

The actress - who was best known for playing Uhura in the 'Star Trek' TV series - died of heart failure in July 2022, aged 89, and ambitious plans to take her ashes to the moon have now been abandoned, meaning they are set to float in space for eternity.

Mission bosses have concluded that the Peregrine craft - which has the ashes of 'Star Trek' actors DeForest Kelley, James Doohan and Nichols onboard - cannot make it to the moon as it only has a few hours of power remaining.

Astrobotic, the US company behind the project, recently completed an "improvised manoeuvre" in a bid to recharge its batteries, according to the Daily Star newspaper.

However, that has proven to be unsuccessful, meaning that it could "likely only operate for 40 more hours at most".

The aircraft is also carrying the remains of 'Star Trek' creator Gene Roddenberry, and his son, Rod Roddenberry, recently hailed the ambition behind the project.

Rod told "I truthfully see all this as an incredibly beautiful, symbolic kind of thing. Everyone is going where no one has gone before."

Meanwhile, Astrobotic has taken to X to explain the problems with the space mission.

The company said: "After successfully separating from United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander began receiving telemetry via the Nasa Deep Space Network.

"Astrobotic-built avionics systems, including the primary command and data handling unit, as well as the thermal, propulsion, and power controllers, all powered on and performed as expected.

"After successful propulsion systems activation, Peregrine entered a fully operational state.

"Unfortunately, an anomaly occurred, which prevented Astrobotic from achieving a stable sun-pointing orientation.

"The team is responding in real time as the situation unfolds and will be providing updates as data is obtained and analysed."