Star Trek actor James Doohan has his ashes at the ISS

Star Trek actor James Doohan, aka "Scotty"
Star Trek actor James Doohan, aka "Scotty" /

The ISS (International Space Station) is home to many wonderful astronauts, but now it’s also home to James Doohan of Star Trek fame.

James Doohan is most known for playing Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the original Star Trek series from the 1960s. Now, however, the former real-life World War II vet he’s also going to be known as the first Star Trek cast member ever on the ISS. Even though Doohan passed away in 2005, his legacy is still persisting in a way that’s taken him to the stars, because his ashes are now onboard the ISS (International Space Station).

The Times of London (via the Verge) reported this nugget and revealed that while most are just finding out about Doohan’s post-mortem trip, even though it happened 12 years ago. How did it happen though? Well, Richard Garriott was a private citizen who traveled to space and wanted to bring the ashes of Doohan with him but was denied. So he instead brought some of them, along with a lamented picture, and smuggled Doohan on board, hiding him under the floor of the USS Columbus, the ISS’s module. No one knew until the article came out.

"“It was completely clandestine,” Garriott told the Times. “His family were very pleased that the ashes made it up there but we were all disappointed we didn’t get to talk about it publicly for so long. Now enough time has passed that we can,”"

This isn’t Doohan’s first trip in space either. His ashes were taken up in 2012 aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. According to the Times, his ashes have traveled an estimated 1.7 billion miles across space, and have orbited the Earth more than 70,000 times.

A touching tribute to a man who inspired so many to reach for the stars. The original cast of Star Trek came around right as the United States was starting to test the dream of space travel, and landing on the moon. For an entire generation of astronauts, it was the crew of the Enterprise who inspired them to travel to the stars. So it’s only fitting that they return the favor.

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