Scotty’s Ashes Beamed Up Onboard SpaceX Flight
As if the advances in private space flight weren’t awesome enough, yesterday’s flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carried something extra for fans of interstellar travel: the ashes of actor James Doohan, best known for playing the engineer Scotty on Star Trek.
The spacecraft, known as Dragon, is on the first privately-funded voyage to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission is carrying over 1,000 lbs of supplies. NASA has looked to private industry to stock the ISS after recent budget cuts.
While it sucks that NASA is being given sufficient resources to fulfill it’s mission, that doesn’t diminish from SpaceX’s (and billionaire backer Elon Musk‘s) accomplishments. The video of the early morning takeoff provides a dramatic reminder that this feat, unimaginable for millennia, is anything but routine:
Doohan’s ashes were part of a payload from Celetis, a company that offers to launch remains into Earth orbit. Remains from original Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper were also onboard, along with hundreds of others.
The ashes were part of a secondary stage on the rocket, which detached during flight. It will orbit the Earth for about a year, before falling back and burning up in reentry.