The ashes of the late James Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery Scott on the original Star Trek TV series, has been aboard the International Space Station for 12 years – and Sunday Times of London has the fascinating background to how it happened. Doohan died in 2005 at the age of 85, and his family wanted to fulfill his wish to join the ISS.
Official requests to bring Doohan’s ashes to the ISS were denied, but Richard Garriott – one of the first private residents to travel on the space station – managed to smuggle some of Doohan’s ashes into the space station̵
“It was a secret,” Garriott told the Times. “His family was very happy that the ashes got up there, but we were all disappointed that we were not allowed to talk about it in public for so long. Now it has been enough time for us to, “
This is not the first time Doohan’s ashes have made their way to heaven. Part of his ashes were on board SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket in 2008, but the rocket failed minutes after launch. And in 2012, an urn with some of Doohan’s ashes flew into space aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9. According to Times, Doohan’s ash has traveled about 1.7 billion miles across space, orbiting the earth more than 70,000 times.
Doohan’s son Chris thanked Garriott for smuggling his late father’s ashes aboard the ISS. “What he did was touch – it meant so much to me, so much to my family, and it would have meant so much to my father,” he said.
Several years after his death, Scotty still walks boldly … well, you know the rest.