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.

Source: The Telegraphvia Subspace Communique

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  • Travellite

    That’s the Falcon 1 in the image. Falcon 9 with Dragon is launching tomorrow.

  • Am0767

    sorry, but i hate to pop your balloon.. that is falcon 9 in that pic above. its just a little different than the two other falcon 9’s spacex has launched. and in 2008, the rocket did not explode like the article says..

  • Romlan

    “The capsule with his ashes ended up in the desert of New Mexico.”

    The Celestis flight in 2007 was never meant to go into orbit, or to launch the ashes into orbit. It was intended to carry its payload into space (which it did) and then parachute the containers back to earth.
    That is exactly what it did.

    And why no update on the success of this year’s mission? Come ON!