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Star Trek star's ashes ready for launch

  |   April 4, 2007 at 12:34 AM
SANTA FE, N.M., April 3 (UPI) -- Cremated remains of actor James Doohan, Scotty on "Star Trek," and pioneer astronaut Gordon Cooper are set to be launched from New Mexico into space this month.

Portions of the remains of the TV space traveler and the real-life one will be among those of more than 200 people from as least 10 nations that will spend eternity in space as long as the April 28 launch of the privately built SpaceLoft XL rocket is successful, Space.com reported Tuesday. The rocket was built by UP Aerospace and will be fired from Spaceport America, a launch site near Upham, N.M., that was funded by the state.

It is only the second launch for UP Aerospace. Its first last September failed to reach space but the company made modifications it expects will do the trick.

The spaceflight was arranged in conjunction with Houston-based Celestis Inc., which is marketing the Legacy of Flight memorial as a way for anyone to "take part in the opening of the space frontier." Celestis will donate portions of the flight's proceeds to several scholarship funds.

UP Aerospace officials said the rocket will carry commercial payloads and experiments from universities, high schools and elementary schools.

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