Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guess Who's Going To Orbit Earth Forever

Yes, fellow space lovers, it is a grand time in the history of the world when our space heroes can be sent into orbit after death for us to forever gaze up at them, a star circling the world, a Space God to be worshipped from below.

Later this month, the ashes of astronaut Gordon “Gordo” Cooper, James Doohan (a.k.a. “Scotty” from Star Trek), and a couple hundred other space-lovers will be blasted into orbit to be enshrined in a little can in the radiation-baking void of space:

Already in orbit are the remains of Doohan’s colleague, Gene Roddenberry.

Does this constitute a production? A great Star Trek epic in orbit?

I think of the late night re-runs of Star Trek that I would stay up for each night, marveling in the flashy, solid-colored, oh-so-campy sets and aliens, relishing every word of the ethics-saturated plots and forced accents. But I loved it. You gave ‘er all she’s got, James! And now, every time I watch Star Trek or one of the many, many, off-shoots it created, I can rest assured that the little silver canisters containing a few grams of Scotty and Roddenberry will be protecting me from a tiny percentage of micro-meteors. Thank you, fellas!

And as for Gordo, true space pioneer of Mercury and Gemini missions, believer in UFO cover-ups and later administrator for Disney and Epcot, I can only give a salute and a thumbs-up for a job well done. Now he will evermore rest where he entered the record books (for instance, he was the first astronaut to sleep in space – and on the launchpad during countdown!).

Yes, I’ll think of you guys with a little shrine of my own. Come 4th of July, I’ll shoot off a little bottle rocket to the Great Spacecraft in the Sky. Given it costs only about $500 (US$) to put a few grams of my ashes up there as well, I might very well join you one day, and thus have myself “beamed up”, Scotty.

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