The ashes of "Star Trek" star James Doohan, who played the role of Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, were secretly taken aboard the International Space Station, it has emerged. The late actor had always dreamed of visiting the ISS and his wish came true after his son, Chris Doohan, enlisted the help of Richard Garriott to take Doohan's ashes into space during a 12-day self-funded mission as a private astronaut to the ISS in 2008, according to The Sunday Times.
The trip did come with a few obstacles. Garriott had no time to follow the official procedures to bring objects aboard the station so he had to smuggle Doohan's ashes in by hiding them in laminated photos of the actor. One of the cards Garriott left in the station's Columbus module. Another he sent back to Chris while a third he jettisoned into space.
"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 told The Sunday Times.
Chris recalled how Garriott said they had to keep the adventure "hush-hush" for a while.
"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 added. "My dad had three passions: space, science, and trains. He always wanted to go to space."
In 2012, the remaining ashes of Doohan were sent into space via the SpaceX rocket, according to CNN.
"He would rather have flown when he was alive, of course," said Doohan’s widow, Wende Doohan. She explained that her husband's dying wish was to have his ashes flown into space.
"He was this enormous fan of technology, future technology, space exploration, NASA and anything with mankind reaching out," she added.
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