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Trekkies can beam up tributes with Doohan's ashes

Updated:
TORONTO (AP) _ When Scotty's ashes head for orbit next year, his fans can send their best wishes along for the ride.

James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery Scott of the Starship Enterprise in the original ``Star Trek'' TV series and subsequent movies, died at his Redmond, Wash., home in July at age 85.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-born actor had told relatives he wanted his ashes blasted into outer space, as was done for ``Star Trek'' creator Gene Roddenberry.

Some of Doohan's ashes will be launched some time in February or March from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, said Susan Schonfeld, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Space Services Inc., which has been arranging memorial space flights for several years.

Details will be posted online at www.spaceservicesinc.com _ where Scotty's fans can also post a few words of tribute that will be digitized and sent up as part of the Falcon 1 rocket's payload.

Some fans have already done so.

``Thanks for exploring the final frontier and inspiring many others,'' wrote Philippe Drouin of Montreal.

``You were an incredibly talented man,'' wrote Kevin Gordon of Denver. ``I wish we could see you in action one more time.''

Doohan's widow, Wende, has invited fans to attend the launch and the memorial service that will take place the day before.

``I can't think of a more fitting send-off than having some of his fans attend this, his final journey,'' she wrote. ``For those who wish to attend the launch, you are more than welcome. And for those who can't, just look to the heavens on launch date and know that you are sharing a worldwide memorial for James (Scotty) Doohan.''

Also included in the Explorer launch capsule will be some remains of early ``Star Trek'' writer John Meredith Lucas, country singer-writer Randy Vanwarmer, who wrote for stars such as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, and some 170 others.
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