Scotty made it to the Final Frontier.
James Doohan, best known for his role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the original Star Trek, had a personal dream of visiting the International Space Station at least once in his lifetime. Sadly, when he passed at the age of 85 in 2005, that dream had gone unfulfilled. However, according to a report from the Times of London, not only was Doohan’s dream fulfilled in secret, it was fulfilled a good 12 years ago with nobody the wiser.
After formal requests from Doohan’s family to have his remains sent to the ISS were denied, they hatched a top-secret plan to have them brought aboard in secret, with a surprisingly prolific co-conspirator: Richard Garriott. Garriott, who made his fortune in the 80s and 90s with the Ultima series of computer games, was one of the first private citizens to pay the ISS a visit back in 2008. What the ISS staff didn’t know was that, during his visit to the station, Garriott smuggled along a pouch of Doohan’s ashes, along with a laminated picture, and hid them beneath the floor of the station’s Columbus module. Garriott had three laminated pictures with him; one was given to Doohan’s family after Garriott returned, one was floated out into space, and the third still remains beneath the floors of the ISS.
“It was completely clandestine,” Garriott told the Times. “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.”
— Chris Doohan (@ChrisDoohan) December 26, 2020
By the estimates of the Times, Doohan’s remains have floated approximately 1.7 billion miles across space, and have orbited the Earth a total of 70,000 times.
With the cat officially out of the bag, Doohan’s son, Chris, publicly thanked Garriott for making his father’s wish come true. “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,” he said.