Tuesday, May 22, 2012

James Doohan has reached 'the final frontier'

A toast to Scotty.
The ashes of actor James Doohan - the beloved Scotty from the original "Star Trek" television series and movies - have finally made it into outer space.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 blasted off at 3:44 a.m. Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket, owned and funded by the privately held Space Exploration Technologies, is bound for the International Space Station with supplies for the station’s crew, as well as the ashes of more than 300 people, including Doohan, who died in 2005, and Mercury program astronaut Gordon Cooper.

If all of this sounds a little familiar - well, it should. Reports StarTrek.com:
Doohan’s ashes – which also were launched to space in 2008 as part of an unsuccessful mission - were part of a secondary payload included on the second stage of the rocket ... That payload separated from the capsule at the 9-minute, 49-second mark and is now orbiting, on its own, above the Earth. It’s expected to stay in orbit for approximately a year before descending back to Earth and disintegrating during re-entry.
The site also reported that Wende Doohan, James Doohan's widow, and their daughter, Sarah, 12, witnessed the launch. Tweeted Doohan: “Sarah and I enjoyed watching a beautiful rocket launch this morning - certainly a first for her.”

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