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Scotty: ashes located and heading home

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The missing seven grams of "Scotty" actor James Doohan have been found safe and, er, well, in the New Mexico mountains where his near-space capsule crash landed three weeks ago.

Doohan's ashes were sent into suborbital space as part of a memorial package. The plan was the ashes would visit almost space, crash land in the New Mexico desert and be returned to grieving families with a nice plaque commemorating the event.

But things went awry when the capsule containing the ashes of 200 people, including Doohan and NASA astronaut Gordon Cooper, crashed into mountainous terrain.

In spite of the tracker beacon sending out a location signal, the capsule was lost. The firm behind the venture explained that although the search area was reasonably small, the terrain was so chaotic it was difficult to search, and interferred with the tracker signal.

But now, after three weeks of scrambling around in rocks and hunting in crevices, ably assisted by a team of trained search and rescue types from the manufacturer of the transmitter, the capsule has been found.

"Now we can all say 'mission accomplished'," said Rick Homans, executive director of New Mexico's Spaceport Authority. ®

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