Friday, May 7, 2010

Dead Star Trek fan boldly goes where no fan has gone before... as his ashes are blasted into space

A Star Trek fan today boldly went where no fan had gone before as his remains were blasted into outer space.

Phillip Green, 47, had been an avid sci-fi fan all his life before he suddenly died in 2007 as he returned from a walk.

Now he has followed in the footsteps of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty in the original series.

Mr Green, originally from Newcastle-on-Tyne, was sent into orbit with American firm Celestis at midday, but will fall back to earth a day later.

Sister Lynne Howe, 59, said it was exactly the kind of send-off that he would have appreciated.

She said: 'He was keen on Star Wars and Star Trek, he was interested in all that kind of thing.

'He would be delighted to know that he was going up there, he mentioned it when he was alive that he thought it would be brilliant.

'He knew Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's remains had been sent into space.

'He was very keen on all those series and the books by Arthur C Clarke, although didn't go to any conventions or anything like that.

'We think this send-off is exactly what he would have wanted. He would have loved the idea of being up there looking down on us.'

The space trip has only cost his family £500 to fund.

Mr Green, who was single when he died, had been a smoker and died after his arteries thickened, despite living an otherwise healthy life of exercise and food.

Lift off: A rocket similar to the one Mr Green's remains were  launched in

Lift off: A rocket similar to the one that carried Mr Green's remains into orbit

He died on July 10, 2007, when he collapsed coming back from a walk in his hometown of Allendale, Northumberland.

He was then cremated and it is a portion of his ashes that are going to be sent into space, before they return to earth 24 hours later.

The Pioneer Flight was launched at midday from Spaceport America, near Las Cruces, in New Mexico.

A portion of Mr Green's remains was in the rocket with 18 others launched into space on a craft in separate capsules.

His ashes will fall to earth after about a day and be returned to his family.

Celestis, the firm launching the rocket, made the first private, post-cremation memorial spaceflight in 1997.

Its next space burial is due to take place in 2012 and is due to lay to rest professor and astronomer Dr William Rense.

Mr Green's biography, which was submitted to Celestis reads: 'Philip is a much missed son of Alec Green, brother of Lynne, Uncle of Joanne and best friend to Dennis.

'He was born to Freda and Alec, in Newcastle on Tyne in England, though he never knew his mother, who died in childbirth.

'He attended Longbenton High School and lived in Newcastle and Allendale all his short life, yet he was a frequent visitor to Scotland and Florida.

'He worked first in public transport, and later developed a talent for the traditional craft of stone-wall building. He loved science fiction, cooking, model making, music, walking his dogs and making fun. He had an enormous thirst for knowledge.

'His good humour and kindness will be missed by all who knew him.'