Home > Article > SpaceX Launch: Private Spacecraft Puts Star Trek’s Scotty’s Ashes Into Space | Technology | Sky News

SpaceX Launch: Private Spacecraft Puts Star Trek’s Scotty’s Ashes Into Space | Technology | Sky News

US company SpaceX has become the first commercial organisation to send its own spacecraft toward the International Space Station with the launch of the cargo-bearing Dragon capsule.

On board the flight are the ashes of actor James Doohan, who played engineer Scotty in Star Trek. He died in 2005.

His remains, along with Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and more than 300 other hardcore space fans, are to be dispatched into the final frontier.The remains are held in a container with lipstick-tube-sized canisters and, if all goes as planned, the container should spend the next year or so circling Earth as an orbital space memorial before it is pulled back into the atmosphere and incinerated.

The test flight – which should include a fly-by and berthing with the station in the coming days – aims to show that private industry can restore US access to the ISS after Nasa retired its space shuttle fleet last year.

No humans are travelling on the Dragon, but six astronauts are already at the $100bn £63bn space lab to help the capsule latch on, to unload supplies and then restock the capsule with cargo to take back to Earth.

The mission was delayed on Saturday because of a faulty engine valve in the rocket’s main engine – that was repaired on the same day.

California-based SpaceX, owned by billionaire Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, is the first of several US competitors to try sending spacecraft to the ISS with the goal of restoring US access to space for human travellers by 2015.

Until now, only the space agencies of Russia, Japan and Europe have been able to send supply ships to the ISS.

The three-decade US shuttle programme, which ferried astronauts and cargo to the research outpost, ended for good in 2011, leaving Russia as the sole taxi to the ISS until private industry comes up with a replacement.

via SpaceX Launch: Private Spacecraft Puts Star Trek’s Scotty’s Ashes Into Space | Technology | Sky News.

Strange Random Space Quote:

Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards. – Sir Fred Hoyle

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