Ashes Of Star Trek’s James Doohan Were Smuggled Onto The International Space Station

James Doohan, Star Trek’s Montgomery “Scotty Scott, had one final trip into space, three years after he passed away in 2005. On Christmas, the story of a clandestine plan to bring some of the actor’s ashes to the International Space Station was finally revealed.

Doohan made it to the final frontier

On Christmas Day, the UK’s The Times revealed that in 2008 entrepreneur Richard Garriott smuggled some of Doohan’s ashes to the ISS on his 12-day mission as a private astronaut. The clandestine operation was planned along with Doohan’s son Chris, with the approval of the Doohan family.

The plan had Garriott hiding a laminated card with Doohan’s photo and some of his ashes under cladding of the floor of the station’s Columbus module. According to The Times, Doohan’s ashes have “traveled nearly 1.7 billion miles through space, orbiting Earth more than 70,000 times, after his ashes were hidden secretly on the International Space Station.”

Doohan’s ashes were sealed inside a laminate card and hidden under cladding on the International Space Station (The Times)

“It was completely clandestine… 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,” Garriott tells The Times. “As far as I know, no one has ever seen it there and no one has moved it. James Doohan got his resting place among the stars.”

James Doohan in his final appearance as Scotty in the 1994 film Star Trek: Generations

Garriott’s 2008 ISS smuggling operation was actually the third attempt to bring James Doohan’s ashes into space. In 2007, some of his ashes flew on a suborbital rocket, and in August 2008 there was a failed attempt aboard a SpaceX rocket (the company successfully launched some of Doohan’s ashes into space in 2012). Wanting to fulfill his father’s request to be laid to rest in space, Chris Doohan reached out to Garriott shortly before he was set to launch into space in October 2008.

Because the last-minute request came after everything Garriott had planned to bring on the trip had already been logged, there was a concern about adding the ashes, so it was decided “in an abundance of caution” that the plan would be kept secret. “Richard said ‘We’ve got to keep this hush hush for a little while’ and here we are 12 years later. What he did was touching—it meant so much to me, so much to my family and it would have meant so much to my dad,” Chris Doohan told The Times.

Soyuz rocket launches Richard Garriott (with Doohan’s ashes) to the ISS on October 12, 2008 (Getty)

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This is w i l d. But hey, cool!

It is actually Garriott with two Ts.
His father, by the way was astronaut Owen Garriott who flew aboard Skylab in 1973.

This makes me very happy. I met you once Jimmy, you were a gem. The word is given, warp speed. Rest in Peace. And thank you for your service in WWII.

He was in World War 2. Thank you for his service to America. Veterans deserve the most utmost respect.

His service was to Canada, as he was Canadian.

Very true Silvereyes.

Although as a member of the Canadian forces in WW2, one can argue that his service was for more than Canada.

I once saw Doohan speak at a regional CreationCon, and it sounded like his own real-life military service may have set him apart from the rest of the acting ensemble.

Although from his military record, it also sounds as though he was a risk taker and a daredevil, he seemed that didn’t have much patience for the pranks and high spirits Shatner and Given got into to blow off steam during long shooting days.

Doohan served as an officer in both the Royal Canadian Artillery and the Royal Canadian Airborne (as an Artillery Observation Officer). He landed at Juno Beach in Normandy on D-Day.

Canadian, Mr. Ninja. He was actually on Normandy for the D Day landings, when he was shot in the hand. Look up how he navigated a career in Hollywood, not having the injured hand photographed. Its an interesting bit of trivia.

If you carefully watch the scene on the bridge in “Star Trek V” where Uhura brings the food packets, you can see his missing finger (or, rather, where his missing finger should be).

This is all sorts of awesome.

Just the fact that it was clandestine is in keeping with Scotty’s character, and he didn’t have to drink anyone under the table to do it. :-)

Lucky for him!

The International Space Station is a beautiful work of human ingenuity

I miss all the people we have lost over the years in the Star Trek family so this is an excellent way to honor one of the best of the bunch. He has truly gone where no one has gone before and part of him will always be there.

How was this clandestine? I heard about this happening when it happened.

I thought I remembered hearing about it too, but apparently that was separate set of ashes launched on a private SpaceX rocket (along with about 300 other people’s ashes). Those orbited the earth for about a year before crashing back down.

That’s the story I recall…. his being launched into orbit, but not snuck aboard the space station.

not YET I mean

This is truely fantastic.

That’s awesome!

Whatever the failings on his part;
He was a starship engineer with all of his heart…