Not the best way to endear oneself to SF fans

They incinerated Uhura and Scotty!

Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke’s ashes were on board a private US lunar lander that, after a failed moonshot, re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Friday and burned-up on the way down. The intention had been to leave the ashes, among those from around 70 individuals including actors James Doohan (aka Scotty) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), on the moon’s surface following a successful landing. Rodenberry’s ashes have previously been a part of other space missions.

Don’t worry — they were pre-incinerated. It was a PR stunt in the first place. Celestis, the company playing this game, launches one gram of cremains from a person willing to pay the price of $13,000 to splat a little bit of ash on the Moon (Bonus! Send 3 grams for only $26,000!). One of the bonuses of this grift is that they can launch bits of individuals in multiple expensive missions, like Gene Rodenberry’s. The poor guy’s ashes seem to be a staple to send in tiny doses to outer space.

Although to put the whole enterprise into the proper context of dignity and reverence, also lost on this failed mission was a sample of a powdered soft drink. Yes, a tiny bit of Arthur C. Clarke was mixed with a bit of Kool-Aid, set on fire, and spewed into the atmosphere. Breathe deep!

I hope it was cherry flavored author, that’s my favorite.


  1. wzrd1 says

    I’m holding out for tamarind flavored author.

    Oh, they can also take a bit of cremains and turn them into diamonds. There are a couple of companies that’ll perform that service.
    Personally, I think that that’s taking carbon sequestration to a bit of the extreme. Besides, I prefer my plans, become fertilizer for my memorial poison oak patch along a popular hiking trail. With a sign commemorating my contribution at the end.
    Only because poison sumac isn’t native to my area.

  2. silvrhalide says

    Just remember, private enterprise does everything better than the government. That’s why Republicans contract all the sweetheart, no bid contracts to all their extra-special friends in private industry.
    Because it is a staple of Republican groupthink that the government can never do anything right. Then they get themselves elected and prove themselves right.

  3. wzrd1 says

    silvrhalide @ 2, the GOP reminds me of a toddler that wants a new toy, so they break their old toy, shows the broken toy and declares a need for an unbroken toy.
    Their goal, no taxes for the wealthy, to hell with the poor and middle class, as neither group pays for their expensive campaigns.

  4. wzrd1 says

    bcw bcw @ 3, remember that failed private lunar lander with the massive fuel leak? They did a free return to earth and allowed it to incinerate in the atmosphere.
    So, when dusting next time, think of Scotty and Uhura. And of sugar powder with fake fruit flavor…
    In memoriam to some burned ashes.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    If you read SF, you know organic remains found in space /associated with space should be left the hell alone!
    Remember The Thing aka Who Goes There.
    Remember the Alien rip-offs like Creature aka The Titan Find.
    Gojira was an old dormant thing that the Japanese or Americans woke up with radioactive waste (in some of the sequels, space is involved).

  6. silvrhalide says

    @3 Is it the original series or TNG? If the latter, is it one of the episodes where Riker has a beard or is he clean-shaven?

    We all know that if it is a teleport accident, just copy and paste the pattern from the transporter for a fresh copy. Problem solved!

  7. silvrhalide says

    @4 I was going to go with the example of the guy who murders both of his parents and then pleads for mercy from the court because he is an orphan, but sure, your example works too.

  8. Snarki, child of Loki says

    For the low, low price of $1000, I’ll land a homeopathic sample of your ashes on the Moon.

  9. Hemidactylus says

    A bit OT but I stumbled into this today and it ran shivers up my spine:

    As for end of life plans I would prefer my corpse to tandem jump skydive and the other person cut it free to plow into the ground somewhere. Put my tombstone there. Sure beats being assimilated by Borg or put on the moon, which itself might irk the Navajo Nation. Maybe them scifi folk burning up in the atmosphere instead was for a good reason.

  10. John Morales says


    Hemidactylus, from your link:
    “There may have been greater battles, longer wars, more shocking acts of death and destruction—but it’s hard to imagine what Star Trek could ever do to top the reach and importance of Wolf 359.”

    Obs, the writer was unaware of the Dominion War in that franchise, which was bigger and more significant in every possible way. “Hard to imagine” merely shows how feeble both their imagination and grasp of canonical lore for that franchise.


    Sure beats being assimilated by Borg

    Picard was assimilated (hi there, Locutus!).
    A bit like being turned into a newt, he got better. :)

  11. Hemidactylus says

    John Morales @13
    The writer seemed aware:

    Picard would eventually be restored to his human self after his link to the collective was severed and he underwent reconstructive surgery to remove the implants given to him by the Borg, but while the threat of the Borg was momentarily halted, Wolf 359’s devastation echoed throughout the Federation; at that point—just years before the outbreak of the Dominion War—it was the deadliest single engagement in Starfleet history.
    Later still in Picard’s third season, we learn that the USS Titan’s Captain Shaw served as an engineer aboard the Constance during the battle, and was just one of 10 survivors randomly selected to use the ship’s remaining functioning escape pod. The exploration of Picard’s trauma, and then eventually Sisko’s, sets the stage for what Deep Space Nine would go on to do in its storylines with the Dominion War in its latter half.
    Star Trek would go on to depict bigger and more explosive battles, and place war throughout its history, from the conflict with the Dominion to Discovery’s exploration of the war with the Klingons a century prior. But few moments could ever match the gut-wrenching tragedy of Wolf 359, in spite of dwarfing its scope—a battle barely seen, but one whose scars are forever etched across generations of Star Trek.

    I just remember being enthralled by the Borg stuff. I cannot pretend to have any expertise on the Star Trek Universe. I defer to you and others on that.

  12. John Morales says

    “The writer seemed aware”, you write.
    Thing is, the writer wrote this: “it’s hard to imagine what Star Trek could ever do to top the reach and importance of Wolf 359”.

    See, if the writer were aware, it would not be hard to imagine, would it?

    (Yeah, hyperbole, clickbait, whatever — I notice these things, and get irritated others don’t)

    I just remember being enthralled by the Borg stuff. I cannot pretend to have any expertise on the Star Trek Universe. I defer to you and others on that.

    The Borg were introduced as a Big Bad at the end of a season, but then were subject to big time.
    For example, they started as a collective intelligence but ended up as termites with a humaniform queen with ordinary human motivations and aspirations.

    Always a let-down.

    If you ever want a decent reference to the lore, this is the site (bonus choice of page):

    (Another example is )

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @13:

    Obs, the writer was unaware of the Dominion War in that franchise, which was bigger and more significant in every possible way.

    What a weird thing to say. Somehow, over the years, I’ve seen most (I suspect all) of the various ST series, even while not caring much for their quality. So it’s blindingly obvious to me that the Borg were an existential threat. The Dominion, not so much, even if the battles with them were more immediately costly. One could at least negotiate with them.

  14. John Morales says

    Rob, they supposedly were in their introduction, when Q magicked Enterprise far, far away for a scare and ominousness.


    “Brushing aside the last line of defense by easily destroying a flotilla of Mars Defense Perimeter sentry pods, the Borg cube took up position in Earth orbit. However, using the recaptured Locutus and his link to the collective mind of the Borg, the Enterprise crew managed to plant subversive commands to deactivate and destroy the Borg ship. (TNG: “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II”)”

    Not that scary, eh?

    One could at least negotiate with them.

    Heh. Which version of the Born in which series by which writers?

    (If you like a good chuckle, check out Red Letter Media’s videos for that show)

    You should be aware it’s but franchise which by how has led to the total vitiation of Roddenberry’s original vision over the years — hardly a reasonably consistent and well-thought out fictional universe such as Tolkien’s. I mean, do Klingons have lumpy foreheads or not? ;)

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @18: I wouldn’t even consider it until they work out the correct pronunciation of ‘futile’. ‘Resistance is feudal’. Huh?

  16. Walter Solomon says

    John Morales @15

    The Borg were introduced as a Big Bad at the end of a season, but then were subject to [villain decay] big time.

    This is especially true when Species 8472 was introduced in Voyager as enemies of the Borg and far superior to them.

  17. StevoR says

    @ ^ Walter Solomon : Then it turned out that Species 8472 could be hunted & killed easily by the fucking Hirogen (About the 3 minutes mark there. 3 m ins 36 secs total clip.)

    Talk about your villain decay!

  18. says

    Large segments of humanity have always had a habit of desecrating where they live: trashing the oceans, leaving toxic waste everywhere they extract fossil fuels, mass burials of poor people and indigenous people, creating a huge, dangerous debris field in orbit around earth, polluting most sources of drinking water, leaving trash on the moon, etc. Many native peoples hold the moon sacred. They think that some fame seeking, moneygrubbing corporation (using a lot of tax-payer dollars and help from nasa) should not be allowed to further desecrate the moon as a money making publicity stunt. There is a lot of crappy science fiction among some gems of science fiction. Welcome to the dystopia. Think about it.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    John Morales @ 9
    Peter Watts is a national treasure. For Canada*.

    *During the war on terror, he got roughed up by two Merican border guards when he did not get down on the ground fast enough.

  20. birgerjohansson says

    StevoR @ 23

    Scott Manley is a good source of news.
    And unlike Hossenfelder he stays on ground he is reasonably familiar with.
    Anton Petrov is also a good source.

  21. lanir says

    Clark at least had a positive view of commercialized space flight. You can see him expressing such in his 90th birthday video on youtube. Not sure about the rest.

  22. bravus says

    If private enterprise was going to put anyone’s ashes on the moon, surely Heinlein, author of ‘The Man Who Sold The Moon’, would be the ideal candidate?

  23. StevoR says

    FWIW New Horizons flew Tombaugh’s ashes past Pluto and beyond.

    A small portion of his ashes was placed aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. The container includes the inscription: “Interred herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the Solar System’s ‘third zone’. Adelle and Muron’s boy, Patricia’s husband, Annette and Alden’s father, astronomer, teacher, punster and friend: Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906–1997)”

    Source :

  24. Walter Solomon says

    StevoR #25

    To be fair, that was only one member of Species 8472 that had Bern left behind and Hirogen didn’t have an easy time at it.

  25. StevoR says

    Ultimasterly it was 7 o’9 that got the Hirogen their dying Species 8472 “trophy”as I recaleld onrefreshing my memory by reading that Prey episode summary so yes.

  26. StevoR says

    @33. John Morales : The Moon ain’t no “mistress” – she’s Earth’s permanent gravitationally wedded partner until the death of our ballooning into a red giant Sun or thereabouts do us part.

    A binary planetary companion even if she’s a bit beaten about and crater faced with splotches of once lava-covered now grey with billennia seas. As for “harsh”heym, she gives us Earthicans tides., alot of poetry and werewolves what more can you ask?

  27. Ada Christine says

    i think i prefer the ferengi method

    you can buy slices of my freeze-dried remains right now! own a piece of me for eternity