When a spacecraft headed for Earth orbit was lost Saturday night, the small satellites for NASA and the Department of Defense were on board. But something else went missing as well from the SpaceX flight: portions of the cremated remains of 208 people who were being sent into orbit by Celestis, a company that offers “Explorer Flight” space burial services. Two of the people whose remains had been on the flight of the SpaceX Falcon 1 were Gordon Cooper , the Mercury astronaut, and James Doohan, the actor who played the wily engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott on the original Star Trek series.

One of Mr. Doohan’s seven children spoke to the Web site BoingBoing in an item posted on Monday to say that having a parent’s remains shot into space may not be as glamorous as you think. Mr. Doohan died in 2005. His son, who goes by Ehrich Blackhound — Blackhound, he says, is a translation of Doohan from the Irish — said in the post on BoingBoing that there have already been several attempts “to send my father on his way,” and that “I’d like to finish saying goodbye.” Every launch attempt, he said, “is like reliving his funeral.”

Reached by phone, Mr. Blackhound, who is 31, said that he does not speak for his entire family, and that he bears Celestis no ill will. But, he added, the long process has “turned into this very strange, drawn-out ordeal.” He joked grimly that “I think only Lenin’s funeral lasted longer.” The unanticipated emotional consequence of a space burial, he said, is this sense of incompleteness, “just a strange part of the territory.”

Susan Schonfeld, a spokeswoman for Celestis, said in a telephone interview that the failed launch was a disappointment, but “that’s why not too many people go into the rocket business. It’s very difficult.” She said her company retained full confidence in Mr. Musk and his company. “We’re looking forward to many successful launches with SpaceX,” she said.

Her company will make good on its commitments, she said. “We are re-flying everybody.” If the remains are not recovered from this launch, the company has backup supplies that it arranges when it acquires the remains. “We always tell our families that we would like more, in case there is a problem,” she said.

As for the families, Ms. Schonfeld said that she and others in the company had been reaching out to those who placed the remains of loved ones on the rocket, and that they had all been understanding and enthusiastic. She added that Mr. Doohan’s widow, Wende, had said: “If you think about it, Susan, in the old Star Trek episodes there was always a problem. So you go and fix the problem, and the next time you’re successful.”

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