Actor James Doohan, who played the starship Enterprise’s chief engineer Scotty on Star Trek, finally made it to space on Saturday (local time) as a rocket with some of his ashes was launched in New Mexico.
When I first read this headline, I felt quite touched. James Doohan, alias ’Scotty’ or Leiutenant-Commander Montgomery Scott late of the United Federation of Planets starship U.S.S. Enterprise, registry NCC 1701-A, had at last reached the stars.
But if you read on, the flight was barely sub-orbital, reaching just 115 klicks before falling back to Earth, the containers with the deceased’s ashes parachuting to the surface, to be mounted on some glitzy plaque by the flight’s organisers for the benefit of the rellies. Well pardon me, but BIG FUCKIN’ DEAL! If Jimmy Doohan could have anything to say about the experience, I dare say he’d snort and claim he’d been gypped. Space be buggered! 115 klicks is barely non-atmospheric, let alone sub-orbital.
This is yet another example of capitalistic American business entrepreneurialism making a killing from the gullible. If you’re going to send a loved-one’s remains into space, or more to the point, if said loved-one WANTS their ashes sent into space, it has to be a one-way trip. Ashes, in rocket, light fuse, wave bye-bye and rocket leaves the Earth’s gravitational pull to sail onward forever and ever, amen. Not a brief trip akin to a reversed bungy jump.
If a launch into the upper stratosphere is the best I could ever hope for, being a trekker and all, I’d rather my genetic successors took my remains out to luggage point, dumped ’em and then spent an equivalent sum of money to the ’space flight’ on getting absolutely plastered in the old fart’s memory. I dare say Stephen Hawking went further and faster earlier this week. What a rort!!