A new United Launch Alliance rocket will now send its CEO’s DNA into space alongside an already announced “Star Trek” memorial.
Space burial memorial company Celestis Inc. plans To transfer the DNA of United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Torey Bruno, along with the DNA of his wife Rebecca, on the first-ever mission of a Vulcan Centaur rocket on December 24.
The Brunos family’s genetic material joins dozens of files, cremated remains, and DNA samples of its “occupants.” Previous announcements include several “Star Trek” stars, including Nichelle Nichols (Uhura on The Original Series or TOS), DeForest Kelley (Bones on TOS), James Doohan (Scotty on TOS), series creator Gene Roddenberry, and Roddenberry’s wife Majel. Barrett Roddenberry (recurring actor on Star Trek). Douglas Trumbull, the visual effects expert on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), also joins several other films headed to interplanetary space.
The Celestis mission, named Enterprise after the famous Star Trek ship, will launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Florida’s Space Coast. ULA was founded in 2006 as a joint alliance between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. That target date will be the first spaceflight of their shiny new rocket.
Related: Watch ULA assemble the new Vulcan Centaur rocket for its first launch on December 24 (photos)
Also on board the deep space mission inside sealed capsules, as reported on Presidents’ Day in February, will be the remains of four US presidents: George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
Tori and Rebecca Bruno are both professional rocket scientists, and if the rocket launches on time, the occasion will also mark their 38th wedding anniversary. Bruno has been CEO of ULA since 2014, and has helped develop multiple defense and space launch systems over the past four decades.
“This is an amazingly unique opportunity, and we are grateful to travel with such remarkable people,” Bruno said in a press release.
In addition to the commemorative Celestis payload, Vulcan Centaur will also carry Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander, which will be gently nudged on its way toward a rendezvous with the Moon. Vulcan’s upper stage will then move into a heliocentric (sun-centered) orbit, where it will be (appropriately) renamed Enterprise Station.
“Tori and Rebecca will join more than 200 participants from 35 countries on this purposeful mission – creating humanity’s deepest outpost in the solar system,” Charles M. Schiffer, co-founder and CEO of Celestis, said in the same statement.