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SpaceX Beams up Scotty

May 22, 2012

What more can be said–the new SpaceX launch includes the ashes of actor James Doohan, who played the beloved engineer on the Enterprise. One of his more memorable moments for me was when Kirk confined him to quarters after a barroom brawl; upon which, Scotty observes, “Thanks, I’ll be catching up on my technical journals!”  Seeing as I have a large pile of technical journals rising next to the living room couch, I need someone to confine me there for a week.

SpaceX really means a commercial breakthrough–people are finding ways to pay for spaceflight that nobody thought up before. Deposit of human remains, who would have thought? Now we’ll find out what else space is good for.

6 Comments
  1. May 23, 2012 12:00 am

    This company seems to have been doing this for a while. http://www.celestis.com/

    But kudos to SpaceX. They are on their way to commercializing space (not just suborbital flights). If they can move forward with their grander plans and even build a spaceplace, I’ll be seriously impressed.

  2. May 23, 2012 12:02 am

    This company seems to have been doing this for a while. http://www.celestis.com/

    But kudos to SpaceX. They are on their way to commercializing space (not just suborbital flights). If they can move forward with their grander plans and even build a spaceplane, I’ll be seriously impressed.

  3. heteromeles permalink
    May 23, 2012 12:46 am

    I think it’s great Scotty got such a good sendoff, and I hope the Dragon capsule passes all of its evolutions. However, I think bits of scientists’ ashes have ridden other probes. I’m pretty sure Gene Schumacher got his ashes on the moon on the Lunar Prospector. Wikipedia even has an article on space burial, now that I looked it up. Before I read that, I didn’t realize so many people had ridden a rocket out.

    • May 23, 2012 8:38 am

      What is new is that it’s the first time a private company has sent a spacecraft to the space station. And of course other human remains have been sent off before–but the idea is that someday it may be a commercial service.

  4. paws4thot permalink
    May 23, 2012 7:11 am

    For me, Scotty’s defining moment was his guest appearance in ST:TNG (or was it DS9? It’s been years since I saw the episode), when he was genuinely upset that his repurposing of a transporter as a suspended animation system had failed to save his companion as well, despite a transporter not being designed to hold the buffer for 70 years.

  5. May 23, 2012 12:55 pm

    Yes, very exciting–my favorite aspect of Scotty character was his affinity for booze–the only crew-member with any sense of escapism.
    SpaceX–more than a first for commercial space-flight, but an acceptance of space as a commercial enterprise. Now people can stop thinking up reasons not to go, and start thinking up reasons to get rich off it (always an American strength).

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