Remains of Star Trek's 'Scotty' headed for space

TV Arts

Remains of Star Trek's 'Scotty' headed for space

LOS ANGELES, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Evidently "Star Trek" actor James "Scotty"
Doohan took the catchphrase "beam me up" very seriously -- his cremated
remains will be launched into space in accord with his last wishes.

Commercial space flight operator Space Services Inc. will launch the late
actor's remains into space aboard its Explorers Flight on Dec. 6, a company
spokeswoman said on Friday.

She said the remains of more than 120 others will be aboard the flight,
including those of an unidentified astronaut and Mareta West, the
astrogeologist who determined the site for the first spacecraft landing on
the moon.

Space Services spokeswoman Susan Schonfeld declined to identify the
astronaut whose cremated remains will be launched into space. She said the
name would be announced the day of the launch.

Doohan, who portrayed feisty chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on the
"Star Trek" television series, died in July at age 85. On the program, when
Capt. James Kirk ventured off the spaceship Enterprise and faced peril, he
would demand Scotty "beam" his body up to the safety of the ship.

The actual phrase "Beam me up, Scotty," was not used on the show, but it
entered pop culture.

To mark the flight into his final frontier, Doohan's family will hold a
service for fans on a 60-acre (24-hectare) site near Vandenberg Air Force
Base north of Los Angeles the day of the launch to pay tribute to him. Some
fans are expected to attend in the formal white suit of a Star Fleet

"I can't think of a more fitting send-off than having some of his fans
attend this, his final journey," his widow, Wende Doohan, said in an open
invitation to the service.

"Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry also had his remains shot into space
after his death in 1991. They returned to Earth in 2002, Schonfeld said.

Doohan's cremated remains will be packed into a special tube that is ejected
from the rocket and expected to orbit Earth for about 50 to 200 years before
plunging into the planet's atmosphere and burning up.

Fans can post tributes to Doohan at the Space Services Web site
( Those messages will be digitized, packed
with "Scotty" and blasted into space.

(Additional reporting by Arthur Spiegelman)
This sounds like his *whole* body is going up. IIRC, it's only *1* GRAM.
That's like, a paperclip's worth.

Carolyne in TX
in article [email protected], whodunit at

True.  Although it's not a paperclip worth of the ORIGINAL mass.  I have no
idea what actual percentage it is, but I'm sure it's not 100%.  Roddenberry
Why not take up 100% of the cremated remains (can't weigh *that* much),
and from orbit, using a small solid fuel rocket (~1" dia.), eject it
further out so that it *never* comes back to Earth?  Seems like that
would be a more fitting tribute to these people.

Launching matter into earth orbit from a NASA shuttle costs about $10,000
per pound. The cremated remains of an average-sized adult weighs about 9
    Now do you understand?
Thought it would have been less than that (nine pounds). <shrug>

in article [email protected], KoshN at

It's like 6 to 8 pounds, but still.

Plus, that $10,000 a pound is for a decaying orbit which isn't what you
wanted in the first place.  The idea was to reach escape velocity.
(actually I think the $10k figure is for payload to the ISS.  Low Earth
orbit is like $4k or $5k.)

But to complicate things, the guys that wanted to make a business out of
shooting ashes into space were going to use a heavier duty process that
would result in a lot lighter payload.  Even so, they're still only giving
partial rides on the shuttle.

You still need to reduce the payload cost by a factor of 10, and the weight
of the payload by a factor of 10, before you want to think about doing this
They want to  make sure scotty doesn't end up like Nomad or V'ger
And come back in 300 years and destroy the earth.
in article [email protected], KoshN at

The shuttle is going about 17,000 mph. Escape velocity is like 27,000 mph.
You'd have to boost it to 10,000 mph.  Even if that was practical, doing the
paperwork to put a booster like that in the STS orbiter cargo bay wouldn't
Who says it's have to be in the shuttle?  Put 'em on a multistage
rocket and the last stage sends them out at greater than escape

What they're currently selling to these people seems hardly worth it to

KoshN - I want to be shot into the local star, just like Kosh.  ;-)
Multistage rockets capable of reaching escape velocity cost a minimum
of thirty million dollars, and the only customers are socialist entities
like NASA which are prohibited by law from engaging in crassly commercial
activities like recouping some of their costs by selling excess payload
capacity to entrepreneurs.

Rockets merely capable of reaching low Earth orbit can be had for five
million dollars or less, and are frequently operated by free-market
capitalists like, e.g., Elon "Paypal" Musk or the Russian Navy, and so
quite willing to take on any hitchiker who can pay for his weight.

Scotty doesn't weigh so much these days, so he can get an almost-free
ride to anyplace a capitalist rocket is flying.  Thirty million dollars
to send him into deep space, is probably beyond reach.
More remains mean fewer clients.

Further out means more power required to attain a higher orbit. That 
means a lot more money.

These guys are into making a buck. If you all of you to go way out 
there, it'll cost an arm and a leg. Ha!