Space, the final frontier for “Star Trek’s” Scotty
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The remains of actor James Doohan, who
played the starship Enterprise’s chief engineer “Scotty” on
“Star Trek,” will be blasted into space in October, the company
organizing the flight said on Monday.
The actor who inspired the catchphrase “Beam me up, Scotty”
– even though it was never actually uttered on the show —
died a year ago at the age of 85.
On the program, when Capt. James Kirk ventured off the
spaceship Enterprise and faced peril, he would demand Scotty
“beam” him back up to the safety of the ship.
Houston-based commercial company Space Services originally
planned to blast Doohan’s remains into space last year but the
flight was delayed to allow more tests on the rocket.
Space Services spokeswoman Susan Schonfeld said the new
launch date was set for October. Doohan’s ashes will be blasted
up along with the remains of around 100 other people, including
astronaut Gordon Cooper, who first went to space in 1963.
After a short flight the rocket will return to earth with
the capsules holding the remains. A second flight in December
or January will send a capsule containing Doohan’s remains into
orbit where it will remain for several years, Schonfeld said.
“Whatever goes up must come down,” Schonfeld said, adding
that the capsule would eventually drop out of orbit and burn up
in the earth’s atmosphere.
To mark the flight to his final frontier, Doohan’s family
will hold a service for fans on the day of the launch to pay
tribute to him, and Schonfeld said thousands were expected to
turn up, many in costumes from “Star Trek.”
“Fan clubs from all over the world, including as far away
as Africa, they’re ready,” Schonfeld said.
The company previously blasted the remains of “Star Trek”
creator Gene Roddenberry into space in 1997.