James Doohan, the actor who famously portrayed Montgomery Scott, the chief engineer on the original Star Trek series, has finally made his way into space, albeit posthumously. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that successfully launched this morning carried on board the ashes of Doohan and 307 other people who had signed up for a so-called memorial spaceflight service. Operated by a company called Celestis, these services can range from a simple journey into low-Earth orbit and back all the way to a "space burial" in deep space, with prices reaching as high as tens of thousands of dollars. This isn't the first attempt at launching Scotty's remains into space, following an aborted mission back in 2007, but if all goes to plan this time, it should be the final one.
Unlike the primary cargo on the SpaceX flight, contained in the Dragon capsule, the Celestis canister of 308 people's ashes is stored in the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which is expected to orbit the Earth for approximately a year before coming back down and burning up in the atmosphere.