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Sci-Fi Space Science

Remains of James Doohan Lost in New Mexico 220

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the red-shirts-all-around dept.
caffiend666 writes "According to a Space.com news article the cremated remains of 200 people were lost in the mountains after their trip to space. 'The search for the UP Aerospace payload of experiments and the cremated remains of some 200 people — including "Scotty" of Star Trek fame, as well as pioneeering NASA Mercury astronaut, Gordon Cooper — continues within rugged New Mexico mountain landscape.' Is it just me, or does it seem appropriate that they lost the landing party? Here's to a safe recovery!"
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Remains of James Doohan Lost in New Mexico

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  • No problem. (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:53PM (#19076839)
    Spock will figure out the only logical place it could be.
  • by Blackbrain (94923) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:55PM (#19076863)
    As Gordo would have said: "Looks like someone screwed the pooch on this one".
  • Clever... (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:56PM (#19076867)
    He *knew* the Nexus was going to go through that exact point.
  • Obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:56PM (#19076871)
    He was always wearing a red shirt. It was inevitable that he would be lost.
  • what (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:58PM (#19076901) Journal
    It sounds like this landing did what they wanted it to other than the fact they lost the thing- which makes me wonder why they didn't think of using a tracking beacon of some sort rather than calculating where the thing was. all they would need to do is go toward ths signal.
    • Re:what (Score:5, Informative)

      by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:10PM (#19077015) Journal

      If the rocket did what it was supposed to why would the remains and other crap have come back to earth?
      because it was never meant to leave Earth completely, it was SUPPOSED to come back down
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jddj (1085169)
      Or just put a tractor beam on it on the way down.
    • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:20PM (#19077119)

      They did use a tracking becon. As far as they can tell, it is still working, to a couple km (diameter) circle. Unfortunately it landed in mountainous terrain, and "go[ing] towards the signal" is a physical impossiblity. (Okay, not impossible, but quite difficult). Also, the terrain is messing with the signals.

      Next week (no hurry I suppose), the manufacturers of the tracking device are bringing more sensitive equipment and more experienced searchers to search for it.

      • by rbanffy (584143)
        Mental note: Always use a GPS beacon. This way we know where it is all the time.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by NeoManyon (953080)

        Next week (no hurry I suppose), the manufacturers of the tracking device are bringing more sensitive equipment and more experienced searchers to search for it.
        Yes it is only the experienced searcher that can walk around and properly say "Nope, not here..."
  • Raise your hands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:00PM (#19076917)
    Who else thinks the whole idea is kinda retarded? I mean, in the beginning I thought the ashes of those people will be dispersed in space, which was very strong as a symbol and a ceremony, of sorts.

    But carry them in space and land them (and now .. to lose them)? What the hell was the effin point of this whole thing?
    • by BlargIAmDead (1100545) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:11PM (#19077029)
      I think the point was to see how the remains of several cremated people reacted to zero g conditions. We now now that when subjected to these certain conditions they gain enough intelligence to outsmart NASA :)
    • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:16PM (#19077073) Journal
      "Yah c'nt bury me, yoo got na ashes!"
    • by Saeger (456549) <farrellj@gmai l . c om> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:26PM (#19077167) Homepage
      *shrug* Most cultures are still obsessed with the mind's dead vessel; that's not going to change overnight.

      IMO, both cremation & cemeteries are a huge waste of resources. When I finally get around to writing my Will, it'll include something to the effect: "If my pattern of mind is beyond repair, drop my naked nutrient-rich matter into a vertical hole and plant a tree. I forbid energy-wastful cremation, and burial in a rip-off casket in a drab cemetery surrounded by giant obelisk phallic symbols..." Of course, there's probably some business-friendly laws which says that's illegal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        IMO, both cremation & cemeteries are a huge waste of resources.

        Cremation is useful in that it avoid infection spreading (especially, but not limited to when the man/woman died froma dangerous infection disease). It gets cremated and can be dealt with with much less resources.

        But dropping the vessel from space and losing the ash in a forest isn't exactly what I imagined it should be like.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sendai2ci (629417)
        Claim that it is your religion, PC should still trump business-friendly.

        Islamic burial traditions for one specifies burial without a coffin, with markers or any sort discouraged. Although they are laid on their right side with their face towards Mecca...
      • by Black-Man (198831)
        Yeah... except you're probably considered toxic waste considering a life of ingesting pesticides, heavy metals, and drugs.

      • You're right. Cremation and burial is definitely a huge waste of resources. We should leave bodies where they fall; it's a safe, clean alternative.
      • Re:Raise your hands (Score:5, Interesting)

        by value_added (719364) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:14PM (#19077537)
        "If my pattern of mind is beyond repair, drop my naked nutrient-rich matter into a vertical hole and plant a tree. I forbid energy-wastful cremation, and burial in a rip-off casket in a drab cemetery surrounded by giant obelisk phallic symbols..." Of course, there's probably some business-friendly laws which says that's illegal.

        I had this in mind when I chose to bury two of my dogs in the backyard. Looking back on the experience (I ended up with two small plaques and planting some flowers and shrubs), I don't regret my decision. I could write an essay on the subject, but it should suffice to say it just seemed like the right thing to do. From every point of view.

        Whether the above is legal, I don't know. My guess is that it isn't. Once upon a time people (at least those who owned land) had family cemeteries. Maybe someone here who knows more about such traditions could enlighten us. At any rate, today, at least here in California, burying someone on private land, irrespective of whether you own one acre of land or 1000 acres, was made illegal sometime in the 1920s (?).

        It's kind of shame, really. Obviously, we can't all just around burying people just anywhere (broadband deployment is complicated enough), but there's something to be said for being buried in the dirt, and having someone come along and plant some grass or a tree where you were laid to rest.

        Recyling at its best.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:25PM (#19078157)
          I had this in mind when I chose to bury two of my dogs in the backyard.

          How did you get them to stay there? Mine always dig themselves out.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Rie Beam (632299)
          Actually, the idea of a minimal-impact burial is alive and well. Fitting with the tradition, it's called a "green burial". Google isn't all that helpful at this point, but it's essentially being unembalmed, being thrown in a cardboard box and having a tree plotted over you as opposed to a traditional process. I'm not sure how popular it is now, but an article from about a year ago denotes a small, but growing, trend:

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/artic le.html?in_article_id=389741&in_page_ [dailymail.co.uk]
        • Firstly, as far as I remmember you are not buried *foreever* in a cemetary, after a while (50 years?) you are remain get taken care of. Somebody in the caretaker industry stops me if I am wrong.

          Secondly imagine if people would get buried everywhere at the will of their family or their own will. Very quickly you would not be able to dig somewhere without finding half rotten remains, with all the infection danger that they represents. This would be a health catastrophe. So NO the reason you can't burry peo
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by khallow (566160)
            I doubt health problems would be an issue unless the person died of a communicable disease like cholera or polio. Of course, in the 19th and early 20th Century, that would have been a serious problem. OTOH, given the laws against desecration of human remains, being able to bury human remains just anywhere would be a huge obstacle to construction.
      • Re:Raise your hands (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mr2cents (323101) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:33PM (#19077663)
        Well spoken. It's an industry. The one thing I remember when my grandfather died (it was an insanely emotional period - my other grandfather had just died a week earlier, both unexpected), the undertakers were there in no time and asked my grandmother: "do you want him to be buried in first class or second class ground?" (literally). What is she supposed to say at such a time? Of course she chose "first class", thinking she would honour him that way. In reality, she just paid a lot of money.. for what? I was quite disgusted.
        • Re:Raise your hands (Score:4, Informative)

          by freaker_TuC (7632) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:20PM (#19078107) Homepage Journal
          My grandma has died 2 months ago, the government already closes the bank account at first knowledge of death. This to pay the expenses of the undertakers, the church service, the after service (in Belgium with coffee cakes and sandwiches, because it's a tradition to eat and talk with the relatives around in a room/tables) and some other expenses...

          These expenses start with the "cheapest" which is not really "cheap" anymore but rather expensive and if you want to be buried with some decency (which won't change anything for you anymore anyways), the bill will be -very- expensive/uncatholic ... It seems to be a profitable business, maybe some idea through the web *shrug*
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by feyhunde (700477)
        The laws aren't Business-Friendly, they are related to public health. Lets say I did what you wanted and planted you in a shallow grave with no casing and planted a tree. While a very nice gesture, your bodies' parasites and fungi live on. And if you died of say, Cholera, your Cholera rich body is leaking it into the ground water. While there is a racket associated with much of the funeral biz, and much of it is greedy, there is reason behind the laws. Burial laws are in place to be a public health issue,
      • after their gone...not like that. Never mind.
      • I made a "biological will" as we call these docs here in Canada 10 years ago (I was about 22). In it, I give my body to science after I'm done with it. How this works is that they can take out any good parts for transplants, studies, dissection, training, etc. After one year, anything left is cremated and the ashes given back to the family. I asked for my ashes to be dispersed in nature after. That way, my leftover body will have some good use instead of costing thousands of dollars to be disposed of.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by apparently (756613)
        "drop my naked nutrient-rich matter into a vertical hole and plant a tree." Well, the safer way would be something like Capsula Mundi [capsulamundi.it]:

        Capsula Mundi is a design for a biodegradable coffin made from starch plastic that holds the deceased in a fetal position... Capsula Mundi is planted in the earth like a seed. Above it, to signal the presence of occupied space, is a shallow concave circle dug out of the ground. In the center of which, a tree is planted, the essence of it chosen in life by the dead one, the

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nobuddy (952985)
        My will says "Give away any parts anyone wants, burn the rest."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smellsofbikes (890263)
        To the best of my knowledge, in many states, it is required that you buy a casket, and in most states it is required that you buy *some* sort of container, even if it's just a little cardboard box like an ice-cream container for the ashes. Luckily, those are cheap, comparatively, like $20 or so. My dad's ashes are still sitting in that little box, 6 years later, on my mom's clothesdryer. (Not a real sentimental family, but boy we have procrastination down to a science.)

        And if he were still around, he'd b
    • by Ignis Flatus (689403) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:30PM (#19077221)

      What the hell was the effin point of this whole thing?
      to make money, of course. it was a private enterprise.
    • by metlin (258108)
      Human beings and cultures across the world are obsessed with symbolism - and death.

      A lot of things we do, intentionally or otherwise, are deeply symbolic in nature.

      And one but needs to look at the various religions to understand our fascination with death.

      So, combine the two and you are bound to get some weird (and occasionally interesting) results.
    • by syousef (465911)
      But carry them in space and land them (and now .. to lose them)? What the hell was the effin point of this whole thing?

      Why to boldly go where no cremated remains had gone before of course!!!

      That said I agree with you - what a waste of money, time, and resources.
    • by Trogre (513942)
      You'd have to make damn sure they left orbit completely, or there's going to be some pretty messed up space trips in future decades.

      You know, space junk and all that.

  • Rural New Mexico, the final frontier. These are the remains of James Doohan. Its five-minute mission: to explore cactus and scrub mesas; to not burn up and burst its canister; to boldly go where no cremated remains have gone before.

    oooooo waaaahhh, wah wah wah wah wah....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:01PM (#19076933)
    Man, if I was, like, "Send my ashes into space when I die" and they were like, "OK, we can send you in a suborbital trajectory", I'd be all like, "Fuck that bitches, I said SPACE".
  • Not again, (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:06PM (#19076979)
    This is the second time he's put himself into a transporter loop waiting for rescue.
    Clevernickname better get off his blog and go get him.
  • by nihilistcanada (698105) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:09PM (#19077005)
    I am a doctor not an orbital scientist!
  • by ChangeOnInstall (589099) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:23PM (#19077139)
    Has anyone checked ebay yet?
  • Summary is incorrect (Score:3, Informative)

    by treeves (963993) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:29PM (#19077211) Homepage Journal
    Nitpick: TFA says they didn't get into space. TFS says "remains of 200 people were lost in the mountains after their trip to space."
    • TFA says, in its summary, "Cremated Remains of 200 Lost in Mountains After Trip to Space".

      TFA also says "the UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket and its payload nosed into space on a suborbital trajectory"

      Where does it say they didn't get into space?
    • by Sabaki (531686)

      Hmm. The article I read says it did get into space:

      After a successful blastoff from New Mexico's Spaceport America on April 28th, the UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket and its payload nosed into space on a suborbital trajectory. As part of launch operations, the rocket was tracked by specialists at the neighboring White Sands Missile Range.
  • "...location of the rocket hardware is known within some 1,300 feet (400 meters) or so. But given the dense vegetation on the side of the mountain being searched, along with equipment available to the search team, pinpointing the exact locale has proven a tough assignment.

    Yet another trip up on the mountain is slated next week, Larson said.

    Joining the search this time is the manufacturer of the transmitters onboard the rocket gear."

    Excuse me....transmitters and parachutes and known within 1300 feet and you
    • by peragrin (659227)
      Did you miss the part about it being on the side of a mountain? how about the part where the radio signals are bouncing around the canyon walls creating echo's and false readings?
      When was the last time you climbed a mountian? searching them isn't always a walk in the park in your tennis shoes.

      Heck you didn't even have to RFTA just the comments to learn that much. Slashdot is definitely going down hill.
  • by fireman sam (662213) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:36PM (#19077281) Homepage Journal
    The ship has been found, but unfortunately everyone on board have been confirmed dead. :(
  • He'll get recovered.
  • Maybe Will Robinson will find Scotty.
  • by rts008 (812749) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:43PM (#19077331) Journal
    He's dead, Jim!
  • The capsule probably just encountered a rift in spacetime and ended up landing somewhere like ancient Rome or 1920s Chicago. As I understand it, this kind of thing happens all the time to space vehicles. They probably shouldn't waste too much effort looking for it in the present.
  • We have a payload in that thing. The email we got made it sound like they have a pretty good chance of getting it. The black paint looks cool, but it also looks like a shadow.

  • by WheelDweller (108946) <.WheelDweller. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:09PM (#19077499)
    In these crazy days, doesn't it seem like there's a lawyer somewhere just WAITING for the first time a journalist writes the headline, "Lost in Space" so they can get copyright infringement?

    Maybe I'm too cynical. :>

    Seriously though; "Scotty" was a huge hero even before Star Trek. One of his previous roles was on June 6th, 1944: he was one of them attacking Fortress Europa. His efforts, and the efforts of thousands of other guys wasting their childhood fighting Nazi Germany is why we're free. Why the show could air; why the benefits of freedom are so available. I liked'em before, but upon learning that, I'm his biggest fan.

    My dad came behind the push at Anzio, he got a late start. Dad is why I know this was such a huge accomplishment. Thanks so much, "Scotty".
    • by Torvaun (1040898)
      "...wasting their childhood fighting Nazi Germany..."

      What the hell, man? I know all war is supposed to be bad these days, but I had a grandfather who fought Nazi Germany. My other grandfather was in the Pacific. Neither of them have ever stated that that wasn't the right place for them to be.

      Wasting is the wrong word there.
  • Not exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kahrytan (913147) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:15PM (#19077547)

      They should launched Doohan and Cooper into deep space. They deserve better then to be shoved back to this stinkin planet.
  • by sprior (249994) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:22PM (#19077591) Homepage
    On Ebay...
  • After all those years of saying things like "she's breaking up cap'n, she can't take much more of this", it was bound to eventually happen. The engineer had to pass away before his ship even had a chance of malfunctioning like this, after all. ;)
  • by Rix (54095) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:51PM (#19077847)
    He just stored himself in the transporter buffer.
  • ...gone where no man has gone before. (But they're trying to fix that too)
  • Welshy!! :(
  • Star Trek XI: The Search for Scotty?

    Shhhhhh! Don't Berman & Braga them any ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I'm glad they are lost on Earth rather than being lost in space; the irony would have been terrible.

    steveha
  • Makes you understand why William Shatner refused a free flight on the maiden voyage of a Space Ship Two [allheadlinenews.com] :) These guys jinxed themselves...
  • That's just crazy. Here I was thinking he would be polluting space, crashing in to the ISS in 30years or so.

    Why o' why didn't they just fire him into the side of a nearby Mountain - it'd have saved on the Rocket fuel and thereby made a smaller environmental ... impact. :o/

  • Damn Gorn!

    Or was it the crazy dude from the antimatter universe with the space ship?

    Maybe it was those two ditzy rocker dudes in the telephone booth...
  • He just "went home".
  • Instead of Lost In Space.

    Whoda thunk it?
  • ... for being in a landing party with a Star Trek red shirt guy. They always lose those guys.

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