SpaceX Launch: Private Spacecraft Puts Star Trek’s Scotty’s Ashes Into Space | Technology | Sky News
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.
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
- Confirmed: SpaceX Dragon Ferried ‘Scotty’s’ Remains Into Space (mashable.com)
- Yes, ashes of Star Trek’s Scotty really are in space (seattlepi.com)
- SpaceX Dragon makes International Space Station fly-by (slashgear.com)
- SpaceX Has Beamed Scotty Up to Orbit [Star Trek] (gizmodo.com)
- Ashes Of James Doohan, ‘Scotty’ From Star Trek, Sent Into Orbit (outsidethebeltway.com)
- SpaceX Scores High PR Marks (odwyerpr.com)
- Scotty Has Been Beamed Up (lezgetreal.com)
- BEAMED UP: Star Trek’s Scotty Reaches Outerspace Aboard First Private Spacecraft To Visit Space Station (geekologie.com)
- SpaceX Falcon rocket carried the dead when it launched (slashgear.com)
- SpaceX Has Beamed Scotty Up to Orbit (gizmodo.co.uk)
To Boldly Go on Vacation
Summer is about to come into view, and along with it, the hordes of luggage-laden minivans heading for the great American vacation. There will be plane flights and train rides, Mount Rushmore visits and Grand Canyon views. It might not be long, though, before we’re all considering a type of trip that Clark W. Griswold would never have attempted: a voyage straight up into space to marvel at the Earth from afar and gaze at the stars like never before.
Space tourism is expected to “take off” in the next decade, with the Federal Aviation Administration predicting it to blossom into a billion-dollar industry in that time.
It’s not all that difficult to imagine, given the technological progression and increasing accessibility since man’s first “timid penetration beyond the confines of the atmosphere,” as cosmonautic patriarch Konstantin Tsiolkovsky forebode a century ago.
The Jetsons‘ concept of every average George and Jane scooting around in private saucers was probably inevitable from the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik, in 1957. What followed were decades of space-based machismo between Russia and the United States, one incredible moon landing and a bevy of science fiction that almost made space tourism passe. Almost.
Friends in High Places
That all changed in 2001 when Dennis Tito decided he wanted to play Neil Armstrong for a few days — tagging along on a trip to the International Space Station. Creator of the Wilshire aggregate market index, Tito shelled out $20 million for the privilege of becoming the first space tourist, spending nearly eight days in space — to the reported chagrin of the actual astronauts involved in the mission who felt he needed more training.
Tito was also the first space tourist client of Space Adventures, which currently is the only company to have sold spaceflights to individuals that have been realized.
Strange Random Outer Space Quote:
“After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ”I want to see the manager.”” – William S. Burroughs
- Ten years ago today, space tourists began to play (news.cnet.com)
- Five Reasons Why Space Tourism is Closer Than You Think (tripbase.com)
- Space Invaders: Tourists in Sub-Orbit. (roamaboutmike.com)
- Marking 10 years of space tourism (images) (news.cnet.com)
- Space, Sweden or Scotland’s final frontier? (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Space, Scotland’s final frontier? (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Space tourist, crewmates set for April 8 landing (news.cnet.com)
- Space tourist is just one way to describe local billionaire (komonews.com)
- Future Russian Space Hotel May Serve Pharmaceutical Purposes (spacefellowship.com)
Internet forums exploded after an astonishing time-lapse video of the Earth taken from the International Space Station revealed more that was first thought – a mystery city that ‘shouldn’t have existed’.
The dramatic video displays the Earth illuminated by the green glow of the Aurora Borealis, and cities represented as bright spots of electric lights.
Taken by the crew of the ISS between August and October 2011, the clip was an immediate online hit.
The “City” in question comes into view at about the 34-second mark.
Strange Random Space Quote:
Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens…. My grandfather would say we’re part of something incredibly wonderful – more marvelous than we imagine. My grandfather would say we ought to go out and look at it once in a while so we don’t lose our place in it — Robert Fulghum
- Beautiful time-lapse of the Earth from ISS (holykaw.alltop.com)
- ISS time-lapse makes Earth look incredible (geek.com)
- Time-lapse video from ISS (boingboing.net)
- VIDEO: Russia Soyuz docks with ISS (bbc.co.uk)
- JAW DROPPING Space Station time lapse! (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Here’s Some Wow-Inducing Time Lapse Video of Earth at Night (nerdist.com)
- Amazing Time Lapses Of Earth From The ISS (geekologie.com)
- Great video: Earth flyover from the ISS (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- This is rocket science! (learningfromdogs.com)
Some of the terrestrial world’s wealthiest men, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos have backed newfangled private spacecraft. Sometimes these efforts end about as well as the crew’s trip in “2001.” A sample:
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com rich guy
As our colleague Andy Pasztor just brought you, an unnamed spaceship funded by the billionaire Amazon founder suffered a major failure during a recent test flight. Bezos’s privately funded Blue Origin was awarded NASA money earmarked for new efforts to support manned spaceflights.
Strange Random Space Quote:
- Blue Origin Spaceship Crash of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Jeff Bezos’ Spaceship Fails During Test Flight (abcnews.go.com)
- Jeff Bezos’ spaceship fails during test flight (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Rich Guys’ Forays Into Space Haven’t Always Been Stellar (blogs.wsj.com)
- Unmanned Spaceship Funded by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos Misfires (foxnews.com)
- Blue Origin’s experimental rocket ship crashes (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!! (fountainabbey.wordpress.com)
- Jeff Bezos’ spaceship fails during test flight (sfgate.com)
I can see my house from here! Another great shot from the Astronomy Picture of the Day Website. And the debate is on as to what part of the Earth she is looking at …
Explanation: There’s no place like home. Peering out of the windows of the International Space Station (ISS), astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson takes in the planet on which we were all born, and to which she would soon return. About 350 kilometers up, the ISS is high enough so that the Earth’s horizon appears clearly curved. Astronaut Dyson’s windows show some of Earth’s complex clouds, in white, and life giving atmosphere and oceans, in blue. The space station orbits the Earth about once every 90 minutes. It is not difficult for people living below to look back toward the ISS. The ISS can frequently be seen as a bright point of light drifting overhead just after sunset. Telescopes can even resolve the overall structure of the space station. The above image was taken in late September from the ISS’s Cupola window bay. Dr. Dyson is a lead vocalist in the band Max Q.
Strange Random Space Quote:
The distance between the earth and her satellite is a mere trifle, and undeserving of serious consideration. I am convinced that before twenty years are over one-half of our earth will have paid a visit to the moon – Jules Verne, From Earth to the Moon, 1890.
- Emergency on the ISS: Astronaut Doug Wheelock Talks About His Experience (planetpookie.com)
- NASA caught photoshopping an image of Saturn’s moons. What were they trying to hide? [Space Porn] (io9.com)
- Astronauts View of Earth Eclipsed All Else (space.com)
- An Airplane in Front of the Moon (laughingsquid.com)
- Photo Gallery: Best Space Station Cupola Views (wired.com)
- Space Station Life Has its Ups and Downs, Astronaut Says (space.com)
- Astronauts Return To Earth After Six Months (news.sky.com)
- Five reasons why astronomy is cool (woodpigeon01.wordpress.com)
- WSU scientist proposes one-way trips to Mars (seattletimes.nwsource.com)