Stephen Colbert will soon be doom-proof. As of October, no plague, nor global-warming disaster, nor Earth-ending asteroid can wipe away the comedian’s existence. His DNA will journey to the International Space Station next month as part of a human-race insurance program/video-game marketing scheme.
Richard Garriott, the man behind the influential Ultima game series, will deliver an “Immortality Drive” to the station with images of humanity’s greatest accomplishments – as voted on by the public – and the digitized genes of celebrities and some run-of-the-mill gamers.
"I am thrilled to have my DNA shot into space, as this brings me one step closer to my lifelong dream of being the baby at the end of 2001," Colbert said in a statement, referring to the 1968 landmark science fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey."
The mission to space is actually a bit of boyhood-dream fulfillment for Garriott, whose father was an astronaut. He’ll be one of very few private citizens to venture into space.
The other goal behind this trek is simple marketing. Garriott’s most recent video-game project, the massively multiplayer online adventure Tabula Rasa, tells the story of humanity’s last stand against a brutal alien onslaught. So, just in case this storyline comes true, the DNA of Earth’s “brightest minds” will sleep safely in space.
"In the unlikely event that Earth and humanity are destroyed, mankind can be resurrected with Stephen Colbert's DNA," Garriott said in a statement. "Is there a better person for us to turn to for this high-level responsibility?"
You can cast your vote on man’s greatest accomplishments – or try to get your own DNA on the Immortality Drive – at operationimmortality.com. Just remember that the target audience is gamers – that will explain why its list of greatest movie candidates includes "The Matrix," "The Dark Knight," and "300."