Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Final Frontier

So Dragon, the first commercial spacecraft, carries among supplies and other equipment for the international space station, 308 canisters of ashes to be disbursed into the great void. At a cost of $3000 per it doesn't seem a great amount, especially compared to the million dollars plus that has been quoted it would cost a live person to visit the space station.

Included among the canisters are the ashes of James Doohan, who played Scotty on the original Star Trek series. How appropriate to have his remains suspended in space for all eternity. For anyone, I would say.

I always wanted my ashes to be spread into the ocean, preferably somewhere warm -- Tahiti, Hawaii, where a warm current circulates. 

I'm close to changing my mind. The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to opt for the vastness of space. 

I do have questions, though. We've all seen how the absence of gravity causes liquids to float around in one blob. Will the ashes do the same thing – cling together and create a solid mass? What happens if gravity exerted by a passing asteroid or meteor attracts the ashes? Or if they float close enough to a planet or a moon to be sucked down? How about a spaceship returning to Earth? So you end up back in the place where you hadn't wanted to be in the first place... 

Would any of this happen? Could any of this happen? Does it really matter? 

I still have some childhood dreams of blasting off into outer space. Maybe that will be the way to come full circle. 

-- Cat