The ashes of Star Trek‘s Scotty have boldly gone where few have gone before. James Doohan‘s cremated remains have been launched into space on board a rocket from New Mexico in the United States.
The SpaceLoft XL rocket took off from a private launchpad – watched by dozens of ‘Trekkies’, as well as friends and family.
Doohan’s ashes were accompanied by the remains of former US astronaut Gordon Cooper and those of 200 other people.
His widow Wende said her husband would have been thrilled at the prospect of a “space funeral” following a poignant service at the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
“He would be ecstatic,” she said. “He would be the one pressing the button. He totally was so into space.”
Among the well-wishers who gathered to pay their respects to the actor, who will forever be associated with the catchphrase “Beam me up, Scotty” was Will Steinsiek, 55, a former pastor, resplendent in a Star Trek costume.
“In many ways, when we lost him, we lost the Enterprise,” Steinsiek said, referring to the long-running show’s famous spaceship.
“These funerals are a way to reach a dream, the dream to go into space and back again.”
Doohan, who played the USS Enterprise‘s chief engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, died aged 85 in 2005, but plans for his posthumous rendezvous with the stars have been repeatedly delayed.
Doohan’s posthumous spaceflight meant he followed in the footsteps of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, whose remains were blasted into space in 1997.