Takei Has Asteroid Named in His HonourBy Michelle
October 3, 2007 - 5:10 PM
"I am now a heavenly body," a delighted George Takei (Sulu) announced upon learning that he has had an asteroid named in his honour.
Yahoo! reported that the asteroid formerly known as the 1994 GT9 has been renamed 7307 Takei. In addition to playing Sulu in the original Star Trek, six movies, a Voyager episode and several animated and game incarnations of the franchise, Takei has appeared in numerous movies and most recently on television in the sci-fi hit Heroes.
"I found out about it yesterday...I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky - just like an asteroid," Takei said. The asteroid, located between Mars and Jupiter, was discovered by two Japanese astronomers in 1994. Series creator Gene Roddenberry and Uhura actress Nichelle Nichols also have asteroids named after them.
An IAU committee approves the names, which are then used by astronomers, said Mount Holyoke College astronomy professor Tom Burbine. "This is the name that will be used for all eternity," he said.
Zap2It added that according to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory web site, 7307 Takei received its name in tribute to the actor's "lengthy record of public service through his involvement with organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League and the Human Rights Campaign." The openly gay Takei has spent much of the past year campaigning for gay rights and legal gay marriage.