Known for playing engineer Montgomery Scotty in the Star Trek series, Canadian actor James Doohan had a desire to have the ashes aboard the International Space Station. Interestingly, his request was granted – but clandestinely.
According to the London Times, the artist’s remains were taken to EEI by businessman and space tourist Richard Garriott in October 2008. However, the special package would not have been authorized by NASA.
According to the British newspaper, James Doohan’s family asked Richard Garriott to take the actor’s ashes on the flight to the ISS. Thus, the material was divided into three blades that were hidden between the entrepreneur’s personal objects.
One was launched into space through a decompression lock and burned into the Earth’s atmosphere. Meanwhile, the second object is hidden on the floor of the Columbus module of the International Space Station.
“It was completely clandestine. Doohan’s family was very pleased, but we were disappointed that we didn’t reveal this publicly for so long, ”commented Garriott to the London Times.
The third and final piece was returned to Chris Doohan, son of the actor. To prove the story, he recently published a photo of the plaque in honor of his father who is hiding on board the station.
A victim of pneumonia and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, James Doohan passed away at the age of 85 in July 2005. Since then, the family has searched for different ways to fulfill the actor’s dream.
Before Richard Garriott fulfilled the request, the artist’s ashes were almost carried into space on a SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket mission in early 2008. However, he was unable to reach orbit.
In a second attempt, the actor’s son asked NASA to fulfill his father’s wish and deposit the ashes for EEI. However, the US government agency did not authorize the tribute.