Ashes of 'Star Trek's Scotty, James Doohan, resting in space
Imagine what it could be to reach for the stars, literally! That's exactly what happened to James Doohan, known popularly as the actor for the role of Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the TV-film series, Star Trek. His last wish was to see space, which couldn't be achieved. So, when his ashes were flown to the International Space Station, it sounded like an apt compensation.
Doohan played the role of Lt. Commander Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott in Star Trek: The Original Series from 1966 to 1969. This futuristic show pegged Doohan's role as born in the 23rd century, 2222 to be precise, in Scotland. His character had a vast career graph of 30 years as one of the most intelligent engineers in the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-A.
Apart from his intellect, Montgomery was known for his funny bone on board and his unmistakable Scots language, which ultimately earned him the nickname of Scotty. Doohan played the role to perfection and had made his last appearance briefly with William Shatner in the franchise in Star Trek Generations in 1994. He died from pulmonary fibrosis in 2005 at the age of 85.
His son Chris recently shared about this fascinating secret he had been hiding "for over 12 years." In 2008, three years after Doohan's death, Chris managed to have game developer Richard Garriott smuggle the ashes aboard the ISS, while the latter was on a 12-day self-funded mission as a private astronaut. To do that, the two broke some rules of carrying material in space.
The duo hid Doohan's ashes inside three laminated photographs, one of which returned to Chris, the second was kept beneath some floor cladding of the ISS, while another traveled to space with Garriott. In a video clip from the ISS, Garriott is seen congratulating Chris over making his father's final wish successful, as his ashes secretly travelled over 1.7 billion miles through space.
"My dad had three passions: space, science and trains. He always wanted to go into space. It was hard not sharing this with fans. I now have a great sense of relief that I can talk about this," said Chris, who is also an actor.