Will the third time be the charm for the attempt to launch James Doohan‘s ashes into space?
Before he passed away in 2005, Star Trek‘s Doohan requested that his ashes be launched into space. Two years later, it seemed that his wishes would be fulfilled, but the capsule with his ashes ended up in the desert of New Mexico.
Then in 2008, SpaceX tried again, but this time the rocket exploded and ended up in the Pacific Ocean.
Tomorrow, SpaceX will try for the third time to fulfill Doohan’s dream, when it launches another rocket into orbit. The remains of three hundred and eight people will be launched into space if all goes well. Families paid $3,000 for the privilege of having the remains of their loved ones sent into space.
This latest mission has already been rescheduled several times, with the latest launch attempt on Saturday scrubbed due to a malfunction.
“Today’s launch was aborted when the flight computer detected slightly high pressure in the engine 5 combustion chamber,” said SpaceX. “We have discovered root cause and repairs are underway.
“During rigorous inspections of the engine, SpaceX engineers discovered a faulty check valve on the Merlin engine. We are now in the process of replacing the failed valve. Those repairs should be complete tonight. We will continue to review data on Sunday.”
Nine minutes after launch, a capsule containing the ashes will separate from the main rocket and orbit Earth for a year, before finally disintegrating upon re-entry.
Here’s hoping that this latest attempt finally gets the job done.
As of 4 AM EST on May 22nd, it looks like Falcon 9 launched. Godspeed, James Doohan.