'Scotty' Of Star Trek Has Ashes 'Beamed' Into Space

May 22, 2012
Originally published on May 22, 2012 4:50 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

One final note on the SpaceX launch: It's carrying some precious cargo. In addition to much-needed supplies for the space station, it also has the ashes of 308 people, including...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "STAR TREK")

JAMES DOOHAN: (as Scotty) Our shields will hold for a few passes, but without the matter/anti-matter reactor, we've no chance.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

That's actor James Doohan, who played chief engineer Scotty on the original "Star Trek" TV series. He's in good company. Along with him, the ashes of real-life Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper.

CORNISH: Also aboard are the remains of Brady Kane, who died last year in a skydiving accident in Colorado.

SIEGEL: And Francis McShane of New York, who died of heart attack. His friends pooled their money to get his ashes aboard.

CORNISH: The ashes are kept in a canister that separates from the main capsule. If everything works out, it will orbit the Earth, then vaporize as it reenters the atmosphere.

SIEGEL: SpaceX teamed up with an outfit called Celestis to provide this service. The individual price tag for its so-called Earth orbit memorial service: $3,000.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Now Celestis, Incorporated makes it possible to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one with a final journey into celestial infinity. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.