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'Mr. Sulu' honored with his own asteroid

Astronomical group renames asteroid found someplace between Mars and Jupiter after Star Trek actor George Takei.

George Takei, the TV actor best known for his role as Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek series, has had an asteroid named after him.

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In the latest example of real scientists paying homage to science fiction, the International Astronomical Union last week honored the actor and his character, by renaming an asteroid, formerly known as 1994 GT9. The new name will be 7307 Takei, according to a story by the Associated Press.

Others involved with Star Trek who have had asteroids named after them are Gene Roddenberry, the series creator, and Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura.

Star Trek, which aired from 1966 to 1969, also partially inspired NASA to name a space shuttle after the show's fictional spacecraft, the Enterprise.

"I am now a heavenly body," Takei said earlier this week, according to the AP. "I found out about it yesterday...I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky--just like an asteroid."