James Doohan’s Ashes Set To Launch Into Space Saturday Morning + Statement From Family [UPDATE – Launch Postponed to May 22]

Tomorrow is a historic day in space flight, with the launch of the first commercial supply vehicle for the International Space Station. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off Saturday morning and it has just been revealed that part of the cargo includes cremated remains of Star Trek’s original Scotty James Doohan, who passed away in 2005. More info and an exclusive statement from the Doohan family below. [UPDATE – Launch scrubbed at last second, postponed until May 22]


UPDATE: Launch Aborted, Postponed Until May 22

The countdown clock ran to T-0 at 4:55 a.m. EDT, when the rocket engines lit briefly, and then no lift off occurred. According to SpaceX, “Early data indicates that the flight computer detected slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5, which prompted the computer to abort the countdown. We are reviewing the data.” Due to the launch window, a new attempt could not be made today. The next launch attempt will be on May 22, assuming all issues have been sorted by then.


Original Article:

Doohan’s ashes headed to space

While Saturday morning’s SpaceX launch has been planned well in advance, the news that the mission contains cargo from Celestis (the company that sends cremated remains to space) had been kept a secret, until today (first reported by ABC). This launch is actually a bit of a do-over for Celesits and sending some of James Doohan’s ashes into space. Back in August 2008 a different SpaceX rocket failed to reach orbit and crashed back to Earth. However, Celestis actually had back up ashes and those (along with partial remains of dozens of others including astronaut Gordon Cooper) have been loaded onto the Dragon capsule atop the Falcon 9 rocket which is set to launch at 4:55 AM (Eastern).

Doohan in his last appearance as Scotty ("Star Trek Generations")
– once again set for a journey into space

James’ son Chris Doohan, on behalf of the family, emailed TrekMovie the following statement on the launch:

I don’t look at the launch as finally putting my dad to rest. We did that a long time ago. I guess I would file it under unfinished business. Is it a cool thing? Absolutely. Is it something he wanted, for sure.

I guess they wanted to keep it a secret because of the failed attempts in the past. Truthfully, it was a secret that was kept from me as well. Likely because they didn’t want us to go through the emotional roller-coaster ride again.

Chris also confirmed that James Doohan’s widow Wende Doohan will be at Cape Canaveral in Florida to watch the launch. The launch will also be webcaset live at www.spacex.com.

Here is a video from NASA on the launch tomorrow.

Sort by:   newest | oldest
May 18, 2012 11:31 am

First. Boldly go, Scotty!

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 18, 2012 11:41 am

Hey Chris. From all of us here at Trek Movie. All of our best wishes to you and your family.
May James Doohan Bodly go, where no man has gone before.

May 18, 2012 11:43 am

O U T S T A N D I N G ! ! !

May 18, 2012 11:48 am

I can just imagine his character saying: “Launch tomorrow at 4:55 AM? What are ya daft man? It’ll at least take three more days just to pump the bloody fuel!”

“I’m sure you’ll manage it somehow mr. Scott.” ;-)

And good journey, mr. Doohan.

May 18, 2012 11:50 am

Better yet: “Warp speed, Mr. Scott!”

May 18, 2012 11:55 am

Wow this is cool. Yes, best wishes to the Doohan family! I am so stoked about this. The “Miracle-worker” is what inspired me to major in physics.

May 18, 2012 12:03 pm

Beam him up Scotty!…
This is were Mr Doohan belongs..amongst the stars!!
Warp Speed Mr Scott!!!
Boldly going beyond……

May 18, 2012 12:09 pm

I signed the first capsule back in September of 2006 when we held a convention in Seattle, it was sad it did not make it into orbit. Hopefully better success with this one.

May 18, 2012 12:20 pm

He’s bad luck for space craft ironically

Dee - lvs moon' surface
May 18, 2012 12:37 pm

Aww Great news… I wish all the best… the best flight into the stars… ;-) :-)

I'm Dead Jim!
May 18, 2012 12:44 pm

That’s awesome!

Much success to SpaceX and Commander Scott! Warp speed!

May 18, 2012 12:49 pm

“Failure” is always a part of success. Without it, we don’t adjust our path and move forward. What an honor – for both SpaceX, and the Doohan family. :)

Robert Gillis
May 18, 2012 12:52 pm

Chris — we loved your father. he was a true Gem. I was fortunate enough to see him speak twice and even talk to him briefly. A great guy.

May 18, 2012 12:55 pm

Hope the Dragon flies this time.

#8. Tom, I think you’ll find that that capsule did make it into space, but the rocket was not intended to stay there, and looped back to earth carrying the ashes with it. It was a second, later, rocket that blew up.

And Jimmy – “All my hopes” :-)

May 18, 2012 1:08 pm

Better to invest in SpaceX than Facebook.
At least they make… something.

May 18, 2012 1:11 pm

Thanks to all for your kind words. X-ing fingers this time. :)

May 18, 2012 1:21 pm

Third star to the right, and straight on ’til morning.

Starfleet's Finest
May 18, 2012 1:30 pm

All my hopes go with his spirt, family, and SpaceX so that Mr Doohan may finally be amongst the stars :)

JM Barrie
May 18, 2012 1:35 pm


Second star

Amish Electrician
May 18, 2012 1:39 pm

No Bloody Enterprise A B C Or D

Bruce Banner
May 18, 2012 1:53 pm

@15. Sirius Radio is cheap right now.

With all due respect, James Doohan was an actor. Would it not be more fitting to have his ashes on the Paramount property.

May 18, 2012 2:03 pm

#9) “Laddie…don’t you think you should…rephrase that?”

God speed Mr. Doohan!!

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 18, 2012 2:06 pm

Bruce. James Doohan was more then an actor. He was an Inspiration for many to become Engineer’s and more. He is the simble of Bodly Going. So yes. it is very fitting for him to be in Space.
Warp Speed Scotty.

May 18, 2012 2:06 pm

He was more than an actor. I’ll also remember him as a warhero, fighting the Nazis on D-Day where he lost his finger.

He was also a husband and a father. So if he and his family want to fly his ashes to the stars, so be it. I think it’s most fitting.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 18, 2012 2:07 pm

#22. Everyone is Entitled to their opnion. #9. (Right Cross to chin).

May 18, 2012 2:11 pm

My 3 favorite quotes

I cannot change the laws of physics I need 30 min

I already got a one recharged [ Doomsday Machine where Scotty earned his pay for the week]

The android in the bar said I could see my old ship … The Enterprise…NCC1701… no bloodly A, B, C or D

and 2 drinking quotes

Now Drink your Drink

Does it go good with Scotch?…I’ll let you know

RIP Scotty .. a Mircle Worker

May 18, 2012 2:12 pm


And Sirius has what to do with what? Sorry, not following that.
Elaborate, please.

May 18, 2012 2:20 pm

Pretty awesome.

Go Falcon! Let that Dragon fly.

If this works, we’re back in the space business. Only fitting Scotty’s along to give her a proper send off.

Hat’s off Jimmy!

May 18, 2012 2:22 pm

Good Journeys, Jimmy Doohan, I hope you are smiling in Heaven with DeForest Kelley, Majel, and Gene…

Sebastian S.
May 18, 2012 2:34 pm

Godspeed Jimmy Doohan. You were loved by so MANY fans… :-)

As for the Falcon X? Hopefully, (if successful) this will put low earth orbit into commercial reach and free up NASA (both future funding and resources) for new, bolder human flights (as well as new robotic missions) into the real final frontier (and not low earth orbit; where hundreds have gone before…).

As Han Solo says, “I’ll get her out on the Falcon….” ;-)

Starbase Britain
May 18, 2012 2:50 pm

‘Thats the ticket Laddie!’.

Mr Doohan, your fans are with you.

Warp spped and may the wind be at our backs.

The greatest chief engineer of them all. Thanks for everything.


May 18, 2012 2:50 pm

Very cool. My best wishes for The Doohan family. We love Scotty!!

May 18, 2012 3:14 pm


May 18, 2012 3:57 pm

I met Jim Doohan twice during paid appearances, and while this has been said by thousands, I must say, he was such a sweetheart with the fans.

As a post-teen nerd going down the line to get a book signed (“Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise,” 1984), he just turned my nervousness off with a handshake and a smile. These days, you’d call him an ‘ambassador of the brand.’ He was all that and more.

#19 JM Barrie: Thanks for the course correction!

May 18, 2012 4:00 pm

“We Are All Made of Stars…”
                                                               –    Moby

May 18, 2012 4:12 pm

Warp speed, Mr. Doohan.

Liz Denham
May 18, 2012 4:40 pm

Scottish Toast:

Cha bhithidh a leithid ami riamh.

(His equal will never be among us again.)

Godspeed Mr. Doohan! And Godspeed SpaceX!

May 18, 2012 4:45 pm

God speed, Mr. Doohan.

Gary S.
May 18, 2012 4:47 pm

Godspeed , Warp Factor 10.
Thanks, Doohan.

Rowan AisLynn
May 18, 2012 5:07 pm

Was inspired to learn physics by scotty. Fell in love with quantum physics and learned anything is possible. So godspeed Jimmy, we all love you! May you find your rightful place among the stars.

Red Dead Ryan
May 18, 2012 5:27 pm

May James Doohan boldly go where no man has gone before.

Warp speed, Mr. Scott!

May 18, 2012 5:47 pm

Fascinating. May James Doohan and his spirits ‘boldly go where no one has gone before.’ May his soul ‘live long and prosper.’ Godspeed. All our hopes. Warp drive, Mr. Scott. Engage!

May 18, 2012 5:53 pm

I still miss Jimmy (as well as De, Gene and Majel). I never got to speak to him…only saw him at the 25th Anniv con at the Shrine over here in LA (Gene’s last appearance). But, he seemed to be a very likable guy…even though he’s Canadian—I keed, I keed.

May 18, 2012 6:14 pm

I have fond memories of having dinner with Jimmy in Muncie Indiana. He then joined our caravan headed to the Trek convention in Columbus Ohio. Of course one of the cars had a problem and Jimmy pulls over with the rest of us, looks intently under the hood and says, “But koptan, I doon’ kno whas wrrrong…”. I laughed until I cried. Gods speed Jimmy.

Chris Miles
May 18, 2012 6:40 pm

I have been following Space X for years. We seem to have a true Tony Stark in Elon Musk- the man runs, like 3 tech companies. Jeez!

I did not know until today that James Doohan’s ashes would be traveling on tomorrow’s historic ISS rendezvous.

@Chris Doohan- you know, I never really wanted to be Kirk as a kid- I always wanted to be messin’ with the engines. Now I’m an engineer, generally tryin’ to make things a wee bit better. Good thoughts of your dad from me and my family this evening.

All our hopes for a successful launch – Mr Doohan so deserves it.

GodSpeed Scotty.

May 18, 2012 6:45 pm

What? I thought this happened about 20 years ago.

May 18, 2012 7:04 pm

I missed the launch by a week!

Red Dead Ryan
May 18, 2012 7:09 pm


James died in 2005. Obviously this couldn’t have happened 20 years ago…

May 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Well said @2. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire

‘All of our best wishes to you and your family.
May James Doohan Boldly go, where no man has gone before.’

and @24. Calastir

“He was more than an actor. I’ll also remember him as a war hero, fighting the Nazis on D-Day where he lost his finger… He was also a husband and a father.”

Nick Cook
May 18, 2012 11:45 pm

Fingers crossed. Third star to the right… :)