Rocket Carries Ashes Of Oklahoma Astronaut Into Space

Saturday, April 28th 2007, 9:24 pm
By: News On 6

UPHAM, N.M. (AP) -- The cremated remains of actor James Doohan, who portrayed engineer "Scotty" on "Star Trek," and of Mercury astronaut and Oklahoma native Gordon Cooper soar into suborbital space Saturday aboard a rocket launched from the southern New Mexico desert.

It was the first successful launch from Spaceport America, a commercial spaceport being developed north of Las Cruces.

Cooper, a Shawnee native, died of natural causes in October 2004.

His wife, Suzan Cooper, and Wende Doohan fired the rocket carrying small amounts of their husbands' ashes, and those of about 200 others, at about 9 a.m. local time.

Family and friends who watched the 20-foot rocket take off cheered and cried as the rocket flew and someone in the mission control center announced that it was a successful launch.