'Scotty's' ashes sent into space

April 28, 2007 at 2:56 PM

UPHAM, N.M., April 28 (UPI) -- The ashes of "Star Trek" actor James Doohan got a brief trip into space Saturday from a New Mexico launchpad along with those of astronaut Gordon Cooper.

A private rocket launched by Space Services Inc. carried one gram each of the cremated remains of 200 people, the BBC reported. Seventy miles over the desert, the nose cone carrying the ashes separated from the rest of the rocket and returned to earth by parachute.

Doohan's widow, Wende, and other family members watched the launch on a bright sunny day.

Doohan, an Irish-Canadian character actor, played the role of Montgomery Scott, the engineer on board the Enterprise. "Scotty" was supposed to be a minor character but became central to the series and to the six films that followed.

Cooper, who flew Mercury and Gemini missions, was also a movie character, played by Dennis Quaid in "The Right Stuff."

Doohan died in 2005 at the age of 85, Cooper in 2004 at 77.

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