‘Star Trek’ Star and NASA Ambassador Nichelle Nichols Passes Away At 89

'Star Trek' Star and NASA Ambassador Nichelle Nichols Passes Away At 89 belatina news
Image source: Uhuru.com

On July 29, the actress, singer, and dancer Nichelle Nichols died at the age of 89. Nichols was not only famous for her role as Nyota Uhura in the “Star Trek: The Original Series,” but she was also a prominent figure for the inspiration that the groundbreaking role sparked for future minority generations in multiple industries. She died of natural causes.

Apart from the trailblazing role as a Black actress in television, Nichols was also a NASA ambassador. NASA credits their partnership as a source of recruitment for “some of the first women and minority astronauts,” and said that she “inspired generations to reach for the stars.” Additionally, CNN says that she helped make the space program more diverse by recruiting astronauts like Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, and Guion Bluford.

She was even famously quoted saying: “Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going. Space travel benefits us here on Earth. And we ain’t stopped yet. There’s more exploration to come.” 

The sad news was delivered by her only son, Kyle Johnson. On her official website, he wrote: “I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years. Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration. Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”

Nichols’ death has been globally felt by many. Even Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in space, retweeted NASA’s heartfelt message as a sign of tribute.

Johnson concluded the news by saying: “I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected. Live Long and Prosper.”

May Nichelle Nichols rest in peace.