Star Trek Tribute Is Going To Space Thanks To Fans

Art created by fans will soon be launched into space, decorating SuperDove satellites that will orbit and observe Earth.

By Michileen Martin | Published

Star Trek Enterprise

First Blue Origin brought William Shatner of Star Trek fame into orbit, and now SpaceX will bring a tribute to the legacy of the franchise’s creator on a similar trip. Currently expected to launch in January, SpaceX’s Transporter-6 mission will include a payload of SuperDove satellites. Those satellites will orbit the Earth covered in quotes, photos, and various artwork all meant to celebrate the messages of hope and diversity heralded by the late Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Had he lived, Gene Roddenberry would’ve celebrated his 100th birthday last year, which is why the Roddenberry Foundation chose 2021 to launch their Boldly Go Campaign. The campaign asked fans to send in their art, photos, and messages that answered the question of what gave them hoe for humanity’s future. BoldlyGo has since posted a mosaic of a large selection of the submissions.

According to, the Roddenberry Foundation teamed with the San Francisco based company Planet to have their SuperDove satellites adorned with the artwork from Star Trek fans across the globe. Those satellites will orbit Earth to join the hundreds of Planet’s other SuperDoves already gathering data for the company.

While Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s ashes were first brought into space back in 1997, the past couple of years have been particularly busy when it comes to actual space voyages meant to honor Star Trek alum. The case of William Shatner’s brief journey into orbit was the only example, sadly, in which the Trek veteran was alive. Some of the cremated remains and DNA of Nichelle Nichols, who passed away in July, were announced to be added to United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur mission.

nichelle nichols star trek
Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek: The Original Series

Nor will the remains of the actress who originated the role of Star Trek’s Nyota Uhura be alone. At the same time the addition of Nichols’s remains to the mission were announced, it was reported it would be joined by that Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Montgomery Scott actor James Doohan, Roddenberry’s wife and another prolific Trek actor Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, and visual effects master Douglas Trumbull. Not long after we learned some of the remains of DeForest Kelley, who played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, had been added to the journey.

Ever since its inception, simply by virtue of its cast if nothing else, Star Trek has carried a message of positive social change particularly in the area of diversity. In fact, one of the most amazing stories from the career of Nichelle Nichols is that she initially planned to leave the original series after the first season. But she was talked out of leaving by none other than Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to Nichols, King told her Star Trek was the only show he allowed his children to watch and a lot of that had to do with her presence. After she told King she was leaving the show, he responded that she could not do that. King said to her about her presence in Star Trek, “For the first time we are being seen the world over as we should be seen.”