Space: the incrementally finaller frontier

Space: the incrementally finaller frontier

Hey, you remember that time when James Doohan died a few years ago? And they made a big deal about sending his ashes into space? Hold that thought…

Hey, you remember that time when Gene Roddenberry died, and they sent his ashes into space? What a fitting tribute to a man whose vision of the future inspired so many to reach for the stars and…

What’s that? Again? Are you sure?

This just in: apparently we’re going to send the ashes of Doohan and Roddenberry, plus Majel Barrett Roddenberry and Arthur C. Clarke, into space next year. Mrs. R and Dr. Clarke are space burial rookies, but this is Gene’s second burial in space, while Scotty has had his ashes scattered in space in 2007, 2008, and 2012. And according to Wikipedia, the rest of his ashes were scattered on Puget Sound.

I’m not one to speak ill of the dead, particularly people whose life’s work has meant so much to me. But I have to wonder what’s really going on. I have two theories:

1) Space really doesn’t want James Doohan’s remains, and every time we send them up there, they get postmarked “Return to Sender” and shipped right back down to earth.

2) This might be part of a master plan. Starting from Puget Sound and heading outward, we leave a trail of ashes: low-earth orbit, high orbit, scatter some in the solar wind, mix some in with the Martian dust, leave a little on Titan, a sprinkle or two in the Oort cloud, until eventually we leave the empty urn on Alpha Centauri 3. Then future astronauts can find their way into the cosmos, using a Doohan High Intensity Cosmic Kinetic Energy Yoke (or DooHICKEY) to pull the ship along the path of Doohan particles.

I hope I’m wrong. I’d really hate to think that our exploration of the galaxy is going to be limited by how far we can stretch one man’s remains.

(Click on the picture to read the original article.)

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