Celestis, a company that provides memorial spaceflights, confirmed that some of Doohan's cremated remains were among 300 others on the SpaceX (video on site) Falcon 9 rocket launched Tuesday morning. Joining him is Mercury 7 astronaut John Cooper or rather a portion of his remains.
"He'll be there with his buddy, which is wonderful," said Doohan's agent and longtime friend, Steve Stevens, speaking of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry.
Unlike Gene, the Great Bird of the Galaxy, who died in 1991, and the first lady of Star Trek, Majel's (d. December 18, 2008) final flight into the heavens together, Doohan and Cooper will orbit the earth for about a year and then return to the earth's atmosphere, burning up before it hits earth. The Great Bird of the Galaxy and the Wood Dove's* remains went together out into deep space in a specially made capsule designed to withstand the rigors of space. Their ashes will not return to earth.
Doohan's widow watched his ashes go up into space with their 12-year-old daughter. Doohan told his wife he wanted his ashes flown into space after his death, but the contract with Celestis was not signed until after his death.
"He would rather have flown when he was alive, of course," said Doohan's widow.
"He was this enormous fan of technology, future technology, space exploration, NASA and anything with mankind reaching out," Doohan said.
StarTrek.com stated that the payload carrying Doohan separated from the capsule at the 9-minute, 49-second mark and is now orbiting, on its own, above the Earth.
According to KHOU, in Houston, the departed paid $3000 for their trip up into the heavens.
Trek News announced, "Now, we no longer have to be content with just watching reruns of Star Trek to see James Doohan in action; whenever we want to look up to Scotty, we need only look to the stars." The same goes for Gene and Majel. All we have to do is look up towards the heavens.
Second star on the right and straight on until morning, Warp speed, Scotty!
Full 15-minute version of Doohan's trip up into the heavens as recorded by NASA, showing the Falcon shoot out into orbit around the earth, shortly after the 9:44 mark. Shortly afterwards, people celebrate the deployment of the payload with applauses, high-fives, and hugs:
* Majel's name is said to be an American Indian name, which means "Wood Dove".