The Explorers Flight mission carrying the ashes of Star Trek actor James Doohan, along with those of astronaut Gordon Cooper and 206 others who paid to have their remains shot into space, failed to reach orbit after launch on August 2.
According to the mission summary, after the main engine shut down and when the first and second stages should have separated, a small amount of unanticipated pressure released in the engine chamber caused the two stages to bump together. (The Washington Post, brushing away the jargon, blames a fuel leak.) As a result, all was lost.
Fans had waited several years for the fulfillment of Doohan’s wish to have his ashes orbited. His ashes would have joined those of Gene Roddenberry, Timothy Leary and Eugene Shoemaker, already successfully launched into space.
[Via Chaos Manor.]