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Sci-Fi

Scotty To Be 'Beamed Up' 127

joel_archer writes "James 'Scotty' Doohan's remains will be launched into space in accord with his last wishes. Commercial space flight operator Space Services Inc. will launch the late actor's remains into space aboard its Explorers Flight on December 6. Along for the ride will be 120 others including an unidentified astronaut and Mareta West, the astrogeologist who determined the site for the first spacecraft landing on the moon. Fans can post tributes to Doohan at the Space Services Web site. Those messages will be digitized, packed with 'Scotty' and blasted into space."
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Scotty To Be 'Beamed Up'

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  • ...someone is screening those "tributes".

    Anyway, RIP, Mr. Doohan. You were loved.
    • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:31AM (#13796336)
      They're sending it in to space, (presumably) never to be seen again by anyone ever. Does it really matter if the tributes contain a few goatse references or whatnot? As an added bonus, if an alien civilization manages to stumble across it and reverse-engineer the storage medium, it'll be the first inter-galactic goatse.

      Although that probably violates the "healthy development of alien life and culture" part of the Prime Directive...
      • If it's never to be seen again and doesn't matter if it contains a few goatse references....why send it at all. You're totally missing the point.
        • If it's never to be seen again and doesn't matter if it contains a few goatse references....why send it at all.

          The rocket's being sent as a way to make money for the private space industry. Someone has paid for Doohan's remains to be put on board as a tribute to him. So those are both good things.

          Why send goatse references? Because people will be people. While it's disrespectful, there's no way to prove it was done, and no-one's going to see it anyway (unless in 50-100 years time someone decides to go
          • People spend a lot of money on fancy coffins that nobody will (ideally) see again. Does that mean the coffine is there to give the person a tribute and make more money for the funeral industry, so taping a goatse image to the inside makes no difference?
            • Hey, if you can find a way to check it that isn't time-consuming or expensive then by all means, create it. But I doubt it very much, so what're you going to do about it? There isn't anything you can do, so while I don't encourage people to do it, I'm not going to stay up all night over it.

              P.S. I didn't say it didn't matter. All I said was that it will be done, so people will have to live with it. I think the good (allowing all of his fans to send a personal message along with him) far outweigh the bad (
          • Will anyone know of Goatse in 50-100 years? Well, except the youngest among us, and by then (I hope) they'll keep it locked away in their heads and just let it die.
      • if an alien civilization manages to stumble across it and reverse-engineer the storage medium, it'll be the first inter-galactic goatse.

        Federation President: Suppose you instigate a full scale war?
        Colonel West: Quite frankly, Mr. President, we can clean their chronometers.

      • They're sending it in to space, (presumably) never to be seen again by anyone ever. Does it really matter if the tributes contain a few goatse references or whatnot?

        Probably not, but if the Ancient Egyptians were right he'll have some explaining to do when he appears in the afterlife in a box crammed half-full of child porn and profantity.

      • by ptomblin ( 1378 ) <ptomblin@xcski.com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:56AM (#13796783) Homepage Journal
        Alien Overlord: Looks like we're going to need bigger probes.
      • it'll be the first inter-galactic goatse.

        Scene: Two aliens are flying a cargo route when the ship's onboard computer presents an analysis of the foreign object they intercepted

        Alien 1: Hey, I swear I recognise that guy.
        Alien 2: He's the first human we ever probed, you know, before advances in probe technology reduced their size immensely.
        Alien 1: Oh yeah! I can't believe we used to carry those massive things around with us. Boy, that was one fun weekend.
        Alien 2: It sure was, Greg.
        Alien 1: 'Nother beer?
        Alie
      • if an alien civilization manages to stumble across it and reverse-engineer the storage medium, it'll be the first inter-galactic goatse.
        Why do you assume that the aliens will be extra-galactic?
        Don't you think that there are aliens in our own galaxy who are just as capable at reverse-engineering human storage media?
        Assuming that our aliens are less capable than, uh, alien aliens is just being galaxist.
  • Godsend Jimmy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TiredGamer ( 564844 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:26AM (#13796325)
    Everything I've ever heard from fans and co-workers has described James "Jimmy" Doohan as a man who was funny, caring, and a great guy to be with. Unlike certain unnamed Trek actors, he was never too big to attend the smallest convention and he was always pleased just to be there for the fans. He will be truly missed.
    • Re:Godsend Jimmy (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheEqualizer ( 812747 ) <generalissimus.gmail@com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:31AM (#13796335) Homepage
      Doohan was also a WW2 vet who took part in the Normandy landings, losing a part of his hand due to enemy fire.
      • I loved the book. His time in the war, everything he did (invented Klingon-ese, wouldn't you know), he was always very modest about himself. Please give it a read if you feel you might at all be interested. I should hope your local library has a copy, but here is the amazon link just in case.

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671 520563/qid=1129403831/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-5334 151-6528956?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 [amazon.com]
        • Not everyone may know about the autobiography and it'd be 'interesting' or 'informative' in this thread, I think. This is meta-moderation of a sort - encouraging mods! ;)
    • Re:Godsend Jimmy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @05:47AM (#13796469) Journal
      If it weren't for his disease (and later, death) I imagine he would have been right there beside Walter Koenig [newvoyages.com] in a fan-produced episode.

      While actors like the one that played Spock are much more famous then "the little guys" like Doohan and Koenig (not that they're very little ;)), for me there's something really special about them willing to go that extra mile for their fans (and enjoying it as well) that puts them above others, such as the actor who played Kirk.
      • Re:Godsend Jimmy (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
        there's something really special about them willing to go that extra mile for their fans (and enjoying it as well) that puts them above others, such as the actor who played Kirk.

        I'm not at all denying Doohan was a great human being; but as an actor he was typecast forever after Trek. Shatner is probably the only one who had a significant post-Trek career, and if that meant not spending so much time signing souvenirs for fanboys to sell on eBay, you shouldn't hold it against him.

        • Re:Godsend Jimmy (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aussie_a ( 778472 )
          and if that meant not spending so much time signing souvenirs for fanboys to sell on eBay, you shouldn't hold it against him.

          I don't hold him making money against him (although he IS a controversial figure when it comes to the Trek fandom, as well as an actor with what some of his co-workers have had to say in the past), I just think that those who ARE willing to put the extra effort in (regardless of the reasons) are placed a little higher in my heart.

          I do find it amusing that one of the worse actors
      • Koenig (not that they're very little ;))

        On the contrary, Walter Koenig is a tiny, tiny man.
    • I watched Trekkie, and I have to say he was the most moving of all the trek people, a truly caring man. He was a grand man, we will all miss ya Scotty..
  • by TheEqualizer ( 812747 ) <generalissimus.gmail@com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:28AM (#13796329) Homepage
    Those ashes aren't really going into space, just low-earth orbit, and their orbit will decay in a decade or so.
  • by McCarrum ( 446375 ) <mark@limburg.gmail@com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:33AM (#13796339)
    I canna do it Captain.

    Seriously.
  • by max99ted ( 192208 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:35AM (#13796345)
    Doohan's cremated remains will be packed into a special tube that is ejected from the rocket and expected to orbit Earth for about 50 to 200 years before plunging into the planet's atmosphere and burning up
    Bummer... why couldn't they just fire it off to some random star or something? Like say, the second star on the right?

    • Bummer... why couldn't they just fire it off to some random star or something? Like say, the second star on the right?

      Money. It's expensive to escape the earths gravitational pull. It's even more expensive to escape the suns gravitational pull. The escape velocity of the earth is 11.2 km/sec at the surface. The escape velocity of the sun on the earths surface is 42.1 km/sec, which is about 95,000 miles an hour. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think the voyager and pioneer probes only managed to e
      • If it only goes on for a day I think they'll be happy enough.
      • what exactly is the maths for figuring out the escape velocity for the sun?
        • One way to do it is to calculate the total work done on a point mass m as it travels from close to the sun (starting at 1AU or wherever) to infinitely far away, using Newton's Law of Gravitation and simple calculus. Then to escape the object must start with at least the equivalent amount of KE=.5mv^2, from which you can find v.
          • spoken by someone thats never tried to actualy DERIVE 3d Parametric functions for the motions of a balistic/orbital body from the laws of gravitation and motion... I have high school notebooks where pages have been filled with my efforts to work out a simple 2d version, the 3d mechanics and calculus are not at all "simple"

            unless of course you have someone else do them for you and just stick numbers into a formula.

            that always makes it easier.
    • It's piggy-backing another mission. That other mission involves going into orbit, not to another star.
  • by TheStonepedo ( 885845 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:36AM (#13796346) Homepage Journal
    BBC ran this article months ago:
    Scotty's ashes to hit outer space [bbc.co.uk]
    • Two issues:

      First, this story is a followup. If you bothered to read the story you posted, you'd see it was mentioned that the launch was scheduled for September originally. The "news" part of this news is that the company spokesperson announced this on Friday, October 14.

      Second, this isn't a CNN story - it's a Reuters wire story. CNN is just carrying it.

      Sometimes news gets new again...just because something is mentioned once doesn't mean new things don't happen.
  • Stupid Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sincewhen ( 640526 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @04:46AM (#13796362)
    Not that I have anything against Mr Doohan personally, but this strikes me as an incredibly stupid idea.
    Why waste all that money, time and effort putting *dead people* into orbit so they can float around for a while being a space junk hazard?
    As Mr Spock would say...
    • Are you volunteering to take his place?
    • Re:Stupid Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

      by The Great Wazzoo ( 798980 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @05:02AM (#13796390)
      because not everything needs to be of practical value...
    • The more private ventures to space/orbit, the cheaper the technology will get.

      Sure, compared to kick-ass NASA/ESA missions this is rather insignificant, but it's not really a waste of money. Especially since some of the money will go back to the people currently creating the technology that will let me tour Mars in 60 years.

      Oh, also, putting one's remains into space is totally awesome.
    • Personally this has been my final wish for a few years, and though I don't expect to die for a long time I've told my family that this is the way I want to go. Why? Ego, possibly. Plus it sounds so fucking cool. And hey, much more chance of finding technology to bring dead people back to life out on some other planet than here on Earth. I just need to survive long enough for high-speed space technology to be around, don't want to be a rotted corpse by the time the big-headed aliens find me.
      • And hey, much more chance of finding technology to bring dead people back to life out on some other planet than here on Earth. I just need to survive long enough for high-speed space technology to be around, don't want to be a rotted corpse by the time the big-headed aliens find me.

        Actually, you will be cremated first. Good luck on resuscitating that!

        • Maybe they'll clone him instead... Could be the aliens first chance to study a live human being (that is, if you don't beleive that the aliens have been anal probing the country bumpkins all along)
    • They send only 1 gram of the remains and they remain attached to the rocket stage until is deorbits. The remains are a secondary payload attached to a real mission of launching sats into space. Therefore they do not cause any extra space junk. The cost is minnimal based on the amount of remains sent. RTFA
    • Why waste all that money, time and effort putting *dead people* into THE GROUND were they are just using up valuable real estate? Same thing. It's because it's a memorial. Not everything has to have practical value.
  • by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @05:21AM (#13796420) Journal
    Well, having already been incinerated once, at least Scotty will be able to consider himself an old hand at these things if the rocket explodes on launch.
  • by slb ( 72208 ) * on Saturday October 15, 2005 @05:25AM (#13796426) Homepage
    There's already enough hazards [nasa.gov] in the near space, why such ridiculous things are allowed ?

    Knowing the damage one of those capsule would cause to a satellite, it's like allowing people to put their tombstones on the highway ...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Oh, come on. It's nowhere near the orbit of satellites. It's like putting a tombstone in a field next to a seldom traveled road. Oh wait, that's kind of like what they do here on the ground. Some people simply have no concept of scale and 3 dimensional space.....
      • Good point. Something you don't mention though is that this debris may cause harm to vehicles attempting to escape Earth's orbit (such as on a trip to the moon). However I'm sure this was considered when permission was given to the people doing this, so it's more then likely not a problem.

        Why bother pointing this out if it's not a problem? Because someone else was likely to (and perhaps give it a more negative spin).
    • What's wrong with tombstones on the highway?
  • by cybercobra ( 856248 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @05:28AM (#13796430)
    Q: How many members of the U.S.S. Enterprise does it take to change a
            light bulb?
    A: Seven. Scotty has to report to Captain Kirk that the light bulb in
            the Engineering Section is getting dim, at which point Kirk will send
            Bones to pronounce the bulb dead (although he'll immediately claim
            that he's a doctor, not an electrician). Scotty, after checking
            around, realizes that they have no more new light bulbs, and complains
            that he "canna" see in the dark. Kirk will make an emergency stop at
            the next uncharted planet, Alpha Regula IV, to procure a light bulb
            from the natives, who, are friendly, but seem to be hiding something.
            Kirk, Spock, Bones, Yeoman Rand and two red shirt security officers
            beam down to the planet, where the two security officers are promply
            killed by the natives, and the rest of the landing party is captured.
            As something begins to develop between the Captain and Yeoman Rand,
            Scotty, back in orbit, is attacked by a Klingon destroyer and must
            warp out of orbit. Although badly outgunned, he cripples the Klingon
            and races back to the planet in order to rescue Kirk et. al. who have
            just saved the natives' from an awful fate and, as a reward, been
            given all light bulbs they can carry. The new bulb is then inserted
            and the Enterprise continues on its five year mission.

    - fortune-mod

    May the great actor rest in peace.
    • by DJCF ( 805487 ) <stormsaber@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:01AM (#13796677) Homepage Journal

      Q: How many members of the original Enterprise does it take to change a light bulb?

      A:

      Captain's Log, Stardate 5187.8. Having cleared up the diplomatic crisis on Politico, I've managed to obtain a leave for my ship and crew. They are looking forward to this much needed vacation.

      (Scene: The Bridge)

      Kirk: Mr. Sulu, set course for the planet Luxuria.

      Sulu: Yes, sir!

      (Suddenly, the ship is rocked by a violent explosion which causes everyone to fall out of their chairs.)

      Kirk: Mr. Chekov, report on all Klingon ships in the area.

      Chekov: Negative, keptin. Sensors show no enemy wessel in sight.

      Kirk: Your analysis, Mr. Spock.

      Spock: I assure you, Captain, I am not operating under the influence of illicit mind-altering substances. However, if you think it necessary, regulations do stipulate that--

      Kirk: I meant your analysis of the current situation.

      Spock: My apologies, Captain. I am still sometimes unable to compensate for the vagaries of human enunciation. It would appear, Captain, that a visional catalyst source has malfunctioned to the critical overload stage. (Noticing Kirk's blank stare, he shakes his head almost imperceptably.) To rephrase my statement into what I believe you humans call `the vernacular': a light bulb blew in Engineering.

      Kirk: Sulu, you have the Bridge. Spock, come with me.

      (Scene: Engineering. A medical team is dragging off an injured engineer in a red shirt. Scotty is surveying the damage and shaking his head. He spots Kirk and Spock.)

      Scotty: Ca'en, sair, seen a' th' bulb ha' burn oot, I kinna see to oper'a' me engines!

      (Kirk smiles and nods.)

      Kirk (whispering to Spock): What did he say?

      Spock: I believe, Captain, that Mr. Scott wishes to register a complaint to the effect that there is insufficient illumination to perform the duties requisite in his capacity as Chief Engineer.

      Kirk: Oh. Well, Scotty, get a spare from storage.

      Spock: I fear such action would be inappropriate, Captain. Starfleet Regulation 171.34c requires us to travel with a full complement of spare parts at all times. If we were to remove a bulb from storage, then we would not have a full complement, and hence be in direct violation.

      Kirk: Damn the regulations, Spock, I've got a ship with 430 people aboard to think of! At least I think there are 430; come to think of it, I've never actually seen more than a couple dozen. Oh well, where is the nearest source of light bulbs?

      Spock: I believe the planet Luminos satisfies the specified parameters.

      Kirk: Scotty, do we have enough power to make it to Luminos?

      Scotty: Ach, I dinna righ'ly ken, Ca'en; we're runnin' a wee bit low. However, if we go strai' thar and dinna hurry, I thin' we migh' possibly duit.

      Kirk: Thank you, Scotty. Spock?

      Spock: Mr. Scott has formulated the opinion that there is insufficient data for complete analysis; current fuel capacity is scarcely in excess of minimal standards. However, probability dictates our vessel has the capability to sustain the journey under the following two constraints: a direct course must be set and maintained throughout and the ship's velocity must satisfy a maximality condition.

      Kirk: Then I'm afraid our little pleasure trip will have to wait.

      (Scene: The Bridge. Sulu and Chekov are engaged in conversation.)

      Sulu: I think it was Thomas Edison.

      Chekov: No, you are wrong; the light bulb is a Russian inwention.

      (Kirk and Spock enter.)

      Kirk: Mr. Sulu, set a direct course for the planet Luminos.

      Sulu (startled): But, Captain, that'll take us straight through the Romulan Neutral Zone!

      Kirk: It's a risk we'

  • This is not good.. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is just stupid. The matter from the bodys of the deceased should stay on earth and be used by plats, then eaten by animals and then eaten by us. Not launched into space - whatif this space burial thing really takes of and millions of kg of ashes is launched every year for a few hundred million years? :(
    • Chill out. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RoverDaddy ( 869116 )
      Why do we do anything with dead people other than run them through meat grinders and then drop the result in a compost heap? Obviously, whether with or without religious convictions, most of us want to show respect to the dead and the people they have left behind. This is far more important to most people than the value of a few pounds of solid matter that make up a typical human body. When you think logically, even the practice of encasing each dead person in a wood or steel box, and then dropping said
  • ...who immediately submitted, "He's dead, Jim"?

    I've never watched Star Trek (*turns in geek card*), but it seems fitting.
  • Why do I care? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Leomania ( 137289 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @05:50AM (#13796473) Homepage
    I'll answer my own question. I'm 42 years old, and with that age (including a family with two amazing daughters that I scarecly deserve) comes a belief that there's something bigger than my not-so-amazing life... that the two children I fathered (and especially the wife who bore them) are somehow more wonderful than me, or anything I could imagine. A surprising consideration from someone who has developed a sense of wonder but who doesn't have a belief in the supernatural. I'm in awe of my progeny and the woman who agreed to share her life with me...

    Why is it that the news of James' passing makes me think of this, here in the wee hours of the morning? I guess it's not hard to deconstruct... I think we'd all like to be the one who worked behind the scenes, the one who made things possible but never got the credit for it. It's a romantic thought that is powerful in me...

    With the most reverent "I'm givin' 'er all she's got, Captain!",

    - Leo
    • Why is it that the news of James' passing makes me think of this, here in the wee hours of the morning? I'm guessing whisky on the rocks ;-) (no offence to you or your lovely daughters intended)
  • by ErikZ ( 55491 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @06:27AM (#13796531)
    Scotty To Be 'Beamed Up'


    Yeah. Just replace "Scotty" with "Pile of ashes". and "Beamed up" with "rocket launched" and we'll have an title that reflects reality.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I officially pronounce you a "buzzkill".
    • Yeah. Just replace "Scotty" with "Pile of ashes". and "Beamed up" with "rocket launched" and we'll have an title that reflects reality.

      I was disappointed as well. I completely expected an article about how Scotty has been brought back to life and then, using a secretly developed teleportation system, scientists are going to beam him into the vacuum of space as part of a sick prank.
    • Hence, the term [making the quoting gesture with my hands] "Beamed up".
  • Can someone point us to a tutorial on digitizing messages for space. Sounds difficult.
  • In 100 billion years or so, there are gonna be some seriously freaked out aliens.
  • Scotty's the man (Score:5, Interesting)

    by connah0047 ( 850585 ) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:28AM (#13796711)
    Now don't stone me for this, but I am about ten years too young to have grown up with the classic Star Trek. I grew up on TNG and that is by far my favorite. I never really cared for the Classic. However, when I was 14 (I'm now 25) and heard Scotty was coming to town for a Star Trek convention, I was there. I got a couple of autographs, got to shake his hand, and hear him tell stories.

    The thing that impressed me the most about him was that he didn't seem to have a self-inflated "I'm-an-American-Icon" attitude. He had a very gentle "grandfather" like attitude and spoke with a soft voice. James Doohan is the man.
  • Let's review the past few years. Space shuttle launches, gets damaged by debris on lift off. Of course, it wasn't proven, just highly speculated that the debris came from some foam that fell off during launch. Several people burned alive upon reentry because of the damage.

    Most recent shuttle launch, part of the voyage's purpose is diverted to make a repair, presumably because of more debris damage.

    Most recently, a private firm is allowed to launch a bunch of shit into orbit to make more debris danger and
  • A new business is born (with a fitting PR campain I might add)
    Anyway, RIP Scotty
  • Funny (Score:2, Funny)

    "Very funny Scotty, now beam up my clothes!"
  • Last year, when my father past away, I have been thinking about what to do with myself when I pass on. My father and mother have a plot in a mausoleum. Burying my remains seems to be a little boring, so I thought about cremation. But I do not want to have my dust stuck in an urn for all eternity. I am an atheist agnostic, so I do not have any predetermined requirements for my remains.

    I spend some time thinking about doing something special with my ashes if I chose cremation. A lot of people seem to lik
    • I spend some time thinking about doing something special with my ashes if I chose cremation. A lot of people seem to like their ashes spread in ocean or in the sky. I thought about my ashes going to space, like Scotty's, but it may not be an option for a chump like me. Unless there is a service that performs this or I get connections, my family won't be able to do this practically.

      I don't know if you poked around the Space Services site much, but their prices are available online [memorialspaceflights.com].

      Here's the breakdown:

      $995 -
  • ..his wife has graciously and thoughtfully allowed fans to post tributes that will fly with him. given the choice between spy satellites and military hardware cluttering space, and people like gene rodenberry, and now james doohan, having some sky, hell, its a non issue, surely:)
  • First spacecraft? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Mareta West determined the landing site for Luna 9 (the first spacecraft ever to land on the Moon)? [nasa.gov] I doubt that. Perhaps what the author meant is "the first manned flight ever to land on the moon"? [si.edu]
  • "Beam Scotty up, me!" and pushes the big red button.
  • Technician 1 "What you mean we have a problem with once of the passengers? They are all dead"
    Technician 2 "Not this one, he keeps banging on his container."
    Technician 1 "It's just your imagination."
    Technician 2 "No really go look, it's the big one"
    Technician 1 Looks at large 7x3 cansister, inscription reads;

    'From the Citizens of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.'

    Michael Brown, Former FEMA director.

    Technician 1, thinks for a bit and turns to Technician 2.

    "If he doesn't like
  • This question seems to be coming up quite often in the threads here. From their FAQ [memorialspaceflights.com]:

    Space Services' spacecraft is carefully designed so as not to create orbital debris. Our spacecraft stays permanently attached to a rocket stage that orbits until it harmlessly re-enters and is completely consumed by Earth's atmosphere - blazing like a shooting star in final tribute to the passengers aboard.

    For missions which are launched aboard a commercially purchased launcher, the Office of Commercial Space Transportation

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire

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