DENVER (CBS4) – The first private rocket used to send supplies to the International Space Station launched this week and hundreds of families had a very personal interest in the mission.
For most the failed rocket launch last Saturday was an unceremonious beginning to NASA’s new direction. For the Kane family the fizzling sparks were prolonged agony.
The rocket was scheduled to meet up with the International Space Station, providing necessary supplies for the crew already in space. Also on board was something special — a container in the rocket’s second stage. Inside the container were cremated remains of more than 300 people to scatter above the Earth’s orbit. In that was 27-year-old Brady Kane.
“He probably did more in his live than what I’ve done in my life. He packed a lot into his 27 years,” Brady’s mother Lisa Kane said.
Brady Kane was a professional skydiver. In his career he’d taken more than 6,000 jumps, including elaborate feats such as night jumps into Red Rocks. He was also part of the team that landed Denver Broncos legend Shannon Sharpe into the middle of a football game. He calmed Sharpe’s nerves before taking the plunge.
“At one point he said, ‘I want to be an astronaut, a skydiver, a pilot, get married, have children, have a house.’ I said, ‘You’re going to be awfully busy,’ ” Lisa said.
Brady died a year ago attempting a highly technical maneuver. Since then his ashes have been spread around the world. But last fall friends spent more than $3,000 to pay for some of Brady’s ashes to go where he had always dreamed.
“It was kind of like the ultimate goal,” Brady’s father Brad Kane said.
On Tuesday NASA tried again. The rocket’s boom was a relief.
“The thought of him literally leaving the earth was something,” Lisa said.
NASA says handing missions off will allow for exploration deeper into space. For Brady’s family the shorter range was far enough to pay a final tribute out of this world.
The rocket also spread the remains of NASA pioneer Gordon Cooper and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty in the original Star Trek series.