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Remains of 'Star Trek' character Scotty fly aboard SpaceX rocket

May 25, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • James Doohan originated the role of Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, chief engineer of the starship Enterprise.
James Doohan originated the role of Montgomery "Scotty" Scott,… (PR Promotions Events )

James Doohan, the late actor who played Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the early "Star Trek" franchise, was beamed up to space, as portions of his remains were aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched earlier this week.

Seven grams of Doohan are now floating in space on the second stage of the rocket and will remain there for about a year.

Doohan, who had portions of his remains flown into space on a previous commercial mission as directed in his will, was not alone on the Falcon 9. He was joined by the remains of 318 other people and Gordon Cooper, one of NASA's original astronauts.

Cooper, whose remains also accompanied those of Doohan's back in 2007, flew into space while he was alive twice in the '60s, on missions for the Mercury and Gemini programs. 

After about a year or so in space, the second stage of the Falcon 9 will begin to fall back into the Earth's atmosphere, said Charles Chafer, president of Celestis Inc., the company that put the people's ashes on the flight.

As it reenters, the second stage will begin to burn up and "these folks turn from orbiting astronauts into shooting stars at the end," Chafer said.


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