Roddenberry Gets His Flight

THE GREAT BIRD OF THE GALAXY," as "Star Trek" devotees called the show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, finally got his wish to soar among the stars albeit after he was dead and cremated. At a meeting of the Space Congress in Florida last week, Roddenberry's widow, Majel, revealed that her husband's ashes flew round trip on an unspecified space-shuttle mission. NEWSWEEK has learned that Roddenberry's remains were carried aboard the shuttle Columbia in October 1992, a year after the TV visionary's death. The ashes traveled as the personal effects of mission commander James Wetherbee, who, while not a Trekker himself, says he was "honored to be asked" to fulfill the Great Bird's last wish when he met Majel Roddenberry on a NASA tour. "It was a touching tribute," says Wetherbee, who once beat a tune in orbit with a pair of "Late Night" drummer Max Weinberg's sticks. "I'm just glad I was able to bring a little happiness to the family."