Doohan's Ashes Finally To Be Lauched This WeekendBy Michelle
April 26, 2007 - 8:56 PM
When James Doohan (Scotty)'s ashes are launched into space this weekend, it will represent a triumph after several months of delays for the commercial rocket carrying his remains.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that after a crash last September, UP Aerospace has been conducting dry runs for launch procedures for the company's second launch attempt, scheduled for Saturday morning by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. If successful, UP Aerospace will become the first company to launch from the site of the first commercial spaceport in the world.
Officials have designated a public viewing area off of Highway 51, since the launch area itself is closed as well due to safety concerns. StarTrek.com has advised fans to RSVP for the memorial activities and to double-check lodging and transportation arrangements, since several local roads will be closed as a safety precaution before and during the launch. No food or water will be available at the viewing site, and people planning to attend are warned that delays are common and temperatures may vary nearly 30 degrees between sunrise and afternoon.
The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamagordo, where a memorial service will be held on Friday, is hoping to provide a live television feed of the launch beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday for the cost of $3 admission. UP Aerospace is paying for all launch-related expenses, estimated at $30,000, including personnel to help track and recover the vehicle.
An AFP article posted at Yahoo! quoted Doohan's widow Wende Doohan as saying, "While 'Scotty' lived this, Jimmy lived for this...I will be there to see the launch, knowing that Jimmy is participating in an industry which he loved so very much." The ashes of more than 200 others will be launched by Space Services Inc. on the same rocket, including those of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper.