Holy shit, the Space X guys just scattered Scotty's ashes all over the Pacific Ocean. As in, "beam me up, Scotty" actor James Doohan. From Star Trek the Original Series! Turns out Scotty—er, Doohan—was one of the 208 people whose ashes were placed on board the Falcon 1 rocket by Celestis, Inc., a company that arranges for loved ones' ashes to be shot into space. Astronaut Gordon Cooper was also aboard the doomed launch, which Celestis had dubbed the "Explorer's Flight." I'm no rocket scientist (hell, I'm barely a blogger), but I think they might want to rename the flight something else, considering what happened to the Falcon 1 late last night.
According to an article in the New York Times this morning, the Celestis web page reported that "the Explorers Flight mission appears not to have reached orbit tonight." Gee, ya think?
And, lest you be overly concerned about such things, we can confirm that the Wikipedia pages of Cooper and Doohan had already been edited by Sunday morning to reflect the explosion and subsequent scattering of human remains.
As a further update to this story, Elon Musk, eBay billionaire and head honcho of Space X, fired off a statement to his employees to lift their spirits after this, their third failed attempt to reach low Earth orbit:
"SpaceX will not skip a beat in execution going forward," he said, and added that the fourth flight, currently scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of the year, and fifth flights are being prepared, and that he has given the go-ahead "to begin fabrication of flight 6."
Something tells me the Doohan family would be better off attempting to actually beam the ashes into orbit. Breaking the laws of physics appears more likely to happen now than Space X getting a rocket into orbit for any considerable amount of time. [New York Times]