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Actor James Doohan, best known as Star Trek's engineer, Scotty, is to have his ashes sent into space. Doohan died on Wednesday, aged 85, from Alzheimer's disease and pneumonia.

Doohan will not be the first Star Trek alumnus to find his final resting place in orbit. Creator of the series, Gene Roddenberry, also had his ashes sent to space, and Star Trek writer, John Meredyth Lucas, who died in 2002, will have his ashes sent up on the same flight as Doohan's.

The ashes are slated for launch in September, according to Space Services Inc. They will most likely take off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Falcon 1 rocket.

William Shatner paid tribute to Doohan: "A long and storied career is over," Shatner said. "I knew Jim when he started out in Canada and I knew him in his last years in America, so we go way back. My condolences go out to his family."

Doohan's agent said that the star had learned to love his role as Scotty, and the Star Trek fan base, although he added: "I don't think people knew what a terrific actor he was." ®

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