Rocket Launches Star Trek's 'Scotty' and 200 Others Into Space
Unlike most of those who have passed on, Star Trek actor James Doohan, best known as "Scotty", wasn't laid to rest six feet under the earth. Instead, the famous Canadian-born actor was officially "beamed up" yesterday, even though he died a couple years ago at the ripe age of 85.
The unorthodox ceremony lifted the ashes of some 200 people into the edge of space over New Mexico's desert base, "Truth or Consequences." Hundreds of onlookers applauded as the slim, twenty-foot rocket spiraled up towards the heavens.
As mentioned, Doohan is most remembered for his supporting role on Gene Roddenberry's immensely popular original Star Trek series. Many mainstream TV fans link Doohan's character with the popular line, "Beam me up, Scotty," even though no one actually said these words on the show. (Source: wikipedia.org)
Despite his status, Doohan was not the only deceased member on board the rocket. Actual astronaut Gordon Cooper, who ventured into space around the same time that Star Trek was entertaining would-be cadets, joined Doohan's remains. Cooper died in 2004, at the age of 77.
Believe it or not, a Houston area company has actually made this idea a private business enterprise (no pun intended). Space Services Inc. charged a relatively reasonable $495 to send a family member's ashes into orbit. Doohan's flight was to be the company's big media pitch, although it took two years of tests and one failed practice before the recent success.
Unfortunately, for some, the remains don't actually float about in space. Instead, parts of the rocket return to earth, including the container holding the ashes. They're then placed on plaques before being finally presented to paying relatives.
Still, it's a wild ride for those who lived for the stars above. According to reports, the rocket reached 384,000 feet, or 72 miles above the earth's surface. (Source: news.com)