Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ashes of Star Trek's Scotty fly to space
AP on Yahoo ^ | 4/28/07 | AP

Posted on 04/28/2007 2:01:37 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

UPHAM, N.M. - The cremated remains of actor James Doohan, who portrayed engineer "Scotty" on "Star Trek," and of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper soared into suborbital space Saturday aboard a rocket.

It was the first successful launch from Spaceport America, a commercial spaceport being developed in the southern New Mexico desert.

Suzan Cooper and Wende Doohan fired the rocket carrying small amounts of their husbands' ashes, and those of about 200 others, at 8:56 a.m. local time.

"Go baby, go baby," said Eric Knight of the commercial launch company, UP Aerospace Inc. of Farmington, Conn.

Since it was a suborbital flight, the rocket soon parachuted back to Earth, coming down at the White Sands Missile Range.

"We nailed it. We stuck the landing," said Knight.

UP Aerospace launched the first rocket from the desert site in September, but that Spaceloft XL rocket crashed into the desert after spiraling out of control about nine seconds after liftoff. Company officials blamed the failure on a faulty fin design.

Family members paid $495 to place a few grams of their relatives' ashes on the rocket. Celestis, a Houston company, contracted with UP to send the cremated remains into space.

Family and friends who watched the 20-foot rocket take off from about 4 miles away cheered and cried as it flew and the mission control center announced the launch was successful.

Wende Doohan, of Renton, Wash., said her husband of 30 years sought a space ride for his remains after "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's remains were launched in 1997. James Doohan died in July 2005 at age 85.

On Saturday morning she wore a flight jacket from Doohan's son-in-law, Air Force Reserve Chief Master Sgt. Paul Pritchard, who died this week of cancer.

"He and Jimmy are together watching history," Wende Doohan said.

Kathy Allums' uncle, James Roach, told relatives long before his death three years ago that he wanted his remains flown to space. Some laughed at the seemingly crazy idea.

"I'm just beside myself," said Allums, of Arlington, Texas. "It's more than what I expected. It's exactly what he would have wanted."

Charles Chafer, chief executive of Celestis, said last month that a CD with more than 11,000 condolences and fan notes was placed on the rocket with Doohan's remains.

The launch from the fledgling spaceport — currently a 100-foot by 25-foot concrete slab in a patch of desert more than 50 miles north of Las Cruces — keeps the New Mexico project ahead of its nearest competitor, in West Texas.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is said to be developing the spaceport north of Van Horn, Texas. Bezos' Blue Origin is working to develop tourist space flights.

British billionaire Richard Branson also has announced plans to launch a space tourism company, which is expected to have its headquarters at the New Mexico spaceport.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: ashes; scotty; startrek

1 posted on 04/28/2007 2:01:38 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

'Spaceloft XL' successfully launches in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico April 28, 2007. UP Aerospace 'Spaceloft XL' carried the cremated remains of 202 clients including the ashes of James Doohan, the actor who played 'Scottie' on Star Trek. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)


2 posted on 04/28/2007 2:03:09 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... In FReeP We Trust ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Th Dilithium crystals did their job on this flight, Scotty. Rest In Peace.


3 posted on 04/28/2007 2:15:39 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The arrogance of ignorance is astounding" NVA 4/22/07)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
I never acquired a taste for scotch.

Somehow it seems appropriate to raise a glass for a final toast.

4 posted on 04/28/2007 2:21:36 PM PDT by labette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

5 posted on 04/28/2007 2:48:45 PM PDT by smoothsailing ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction"--President Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

6 posted on 04/28/2007 3:03:41 PM PDT by honolulugal (RIP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson