Star Trek: How James Doohan's ashes wound up on the International Space Station

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  4 weeks ago  •  22 comments

By:   Matthew Jackson (SYFY WIRE)

Star Trek: How James Doohan's ashes wound up on the International Space Station
Thanks to a secret mission by a legendary game designer, Star Trek star James Doohan's ashes are aboard the ISS.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



After years of playing spacefaring engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on various iterations ofStar Trek, actor James Doohan had a wish upon his death: That his ashes would one day go to space. In 2007, two years after the actor's death, he almost got his wish when a portion of his remains flew on a suborbital rocket. In 2008 another portion of ashes was supposed to enter orbit over the Earth, but the rocket that was carrying them failed, and that was seemingly the end of Doohan's real-life space saga.

Unless, of course, you're one of the handful of people who knew that Doohan's ashes have been orbiting the Earth onboard the International Space Station for the last 12 years.

More Star Trek


This Week in Genre History: Galaxy Quest never gave up and never surrendered Janet Kidder prepares Star Trek: Discovery for the wrath of Osyraa, the next big villain

Over the Christmas holiday, the Times of London ran the unlikely story of how Doohan's ashes wound up on the ISS, courtesy of his son Chris and legendary Ultima game designer Richard Garriott. According to Garriott, who flew a private mission to the ISS in 2008, the story was a very "clandestine" affair due to spaceflight procedures and policies, but now than more than a decade has passed with Doohan's ashes spinning around the Earth, he and Chris Doohan felt comfortable sharing how it all happened.

"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 said.

According to Garriott, it all started when Chris Doohan called him with just days to go before his launch aboard a Soyuz capsule bound for the ISS in 2008. The game designer and adventurer was eager to fulfill the request of the science fiction legend's family, but there was an issue: All of Garriott's flight gear had to be logged and cleared by the Soyuz launch team prior to liftoff, and the ashes weren't among the cleared cargo. To make things as covert as possible, Garriott hid Doohan's ashes in a trio of laminated cards bearing the actor's name and picture, which he then tucked into his approved flight data file.

"Everything that officially goes on board is logged, inspected and bagged — there's a process, but there was no time to put it through that process," Garriott said.

"The concern afterwards was that it could disrupt relations because I didn't have permission . . . so in an abundance of caution I was asked to tell the family 'Let's not make a big deal out of it publicly'."

Garriott kept one of the cards and gave it to Chris Doohan, who now keeps it on the wall of his home. The game designer floated a second card out into the vacuum of space itself, and hid the third under the floor of the Columbus module aboard the International Space Station. As far as Garriott knows, it remains there to this day, orbiting the Earth, honoring Doohan's wish.

"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 said.

"My dad had three passions: space, science and trains. He always wanted to go into space."

Tag: Movies Tag: TV Tag: News Tag: Star Trek Tag: James Doohan Tag: Richard Garriott Tag: International Space Station Tag: space


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

Looks like Scotty's been beamed up to space, as he wished.  Now, where can we beam William Shatner?

 
 
 
Ronin2
Senior Quiet
1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    4 weeks ago

Shatner's wig is really an alien that took over control of his body a long time ago. He will never die.

Read or saw that somewhere. Definitely was in a cartoon. Will try to find it later.

 
 
 
Gordy327
PhD Principal
1.1.1  Gordy327  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    4 weeks ago
He will never die.

You might be onto something. William Shatner is 89 and he still looks good for his age. He's still quite active.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     4 weeks ago

Cool story.

Beam me up, Scotty.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika @2    4 weeks ago

If you say please, he might be able to now!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1    4 weeks ago

You seem to not be aware that I am one of the Star People.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

Who isn't?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.1.3  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

Wow... No I had no idea but I am also not surprised. Who else here would be?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
3  sandy-2021492    4 weeks ago

I was sad to hear when the rocket that was supposed to carry his ashes failed.  I'm glad there was another chance for his final wishes to be carried out.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    4 weeks ago

Me too! I was so pleased to hear that he finally made it where some have gone before. 

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
3.2  cjcold  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    4 weeks ago

Johnny Depp sent his friend Hunter Thompson out in a true blaze of glory.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
PhD Principal
4  Trout Giggles    4 weeks ago

Very cool. I would like that kind of send off

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @4    4 weeks ago

Me too! Not a bad way to spend eternity.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
PhD Principal
4.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1    4 weeks ago

I've been called a space cadet many times. Now I really truly could be one

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

But I would hardly call you a space cadet. You seem very sharp to me!

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
4.1.3  cjcold  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

Read Robert Heinlein's "SPACE CADET" then get back to me. Screw the movie!

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
4.1.4  cjcold  replied to  cjcold @4.1.3    4 weeks ago

Oops, meant Starship Troopers.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
PhD Principal
4.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  cjcold @4.1.4    4 weeks ago

I want to read that book. I got a sample on my Kindle and it was just this guy jumping around in his war outfit. Then I had other people say there was more drama in it. So....

I may go on Thrift Books and see if they have a copy for cheap.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
5  sandy-2021492    4 weeks ago

Doohan was more than just a hero onscreen.  He served and was wounded in WWII.  And he helped one of his fans pull through a period of time during which she was suicidal.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5    4 weeks ago

How touching. What a nice man he was. Makes me miss him more.

 
 
 
Gordy327
PhD Principal
6  Gordy327    4 weeks ago

A little trivia: James Doohan was also a voice actor, having provided many voices in Star Trek: The Animated Series and Star Trek games.

Also, his son Chris Doohan had a cameo appearance as a transporter operator in the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. Add he played Scotty himself in the web series Star Trek Continues (a really awesome series by the way). 

 
 
 
Gsquared
Freshman Principal
7  Gsquared    4 weeks ago

I saw Dr. McCoy, "Bones", at a pre-release screening of Star Wars.  I thought that was pretty cool.  

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online










Bob Nelson
Tacos!


36 visitors