'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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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...


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


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.


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.