Scotty's Ashes Had Trouble Beaming Down.

The ashes of Star Trek actor James "Scotty" Doohan was launched into sub-orbital space.

The rocket carrying his ashes (and other people's) was supposed to parachute back down gently, so the cremains can be returned. But the mission went wrong and the rocket went missing somewhere in the New Mexico desert! Link - Thanks Bruce Thompson!

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Check the pattern buffers! If the original pattern is still in the buffers, we just MAY be able to re-materialize him.

Well, it worked on "Star Trek"...

Anyhoo, while sending the cremains into deep space or at least into orbit would have been a sweetly apropos gesture, the practical purpose of the mission was to test this experimental rocket's equipment. They needed to make sure the machine could safely bring something into orbit, and safely deploy a package to parachute down. What better way to drum up funds than to offer (for a price) to make someone's cremains part of the test package? Obviously, the targeting system or something still needs work. (Not to belittle the sentimental value of the cremains, but at least it wasn't a million-dollar piece of equipment that got lost!)
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