She starred in a promotional film encouraging women and people of color to apply for astronaut positions.
And the very next astronaut class of 1987 included Sally Ride– the first American woman to go to space– as well as Guy Bluford, the first Black American to go to space.
Bill Nelson, NASA’s administrator, commended Nichelle for her dedication to advocacy on and off the big screen.
“Nichelle Nichols was a trailblazing actress, advocate, and a dear friend to NASA. At a time when Black women were seldom seen on screen, Nichelle’s portrayal as Nyota Uhura on Star Trek held a mirror up to America that strengthened civil rights,” Nelson began in a statement.
“Her advocacy transcended television and transformed NASA. After Apollo 11, Nichelle made it her mission to inspire women and people of color to join this agency, change the face of STEM, and explore the cosmos.”
“Today, as we work to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under Artemis, NASA is guided by the legacy of Nichelle Nichols,” Nelson continued.
Nichelle passed away of natural causes on Saturday, July 30th of this year, at the age of eighty-nine. But, her widespread contributions and unmatched legacy will live on for decades to come.
“Her light, 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,” underscored her son, Kyle Johnson, in a statement following his mother’s passing.
If true crime defines your free time, this is for you: join Chip Chick’s True Crime Tribe