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Astronaut Secretly Smuggled Human Remains to Space Station

byVictor Tangermann
12. 28. 20
CBS Studios

"It was completely clandestine."

Beam Me Up

A space tourist who spent 12 days on board the International Space Station took with him some very unusual contraband: cremated remains of the late James Doohan, known for his role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott on the original “Star Trek” TV series.

According to new reporting by the Times of London, Richard Garriott, who was one of the first tourists to travel to the ISS back in 2008, smuggled some of Doohan’s ashes to space and hid them under the flooring in the station’s Columbus module, where they apparently remain today.

“It was completely clandestine,” Garriott told the newspaper. “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.”

Ashes to Ashes

Interestingly, Garriot isn’t the only person to try to fly Doohan’s remains into space. The Verge reports that in 2008, a SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket failed to carry a portion of his ashes into space several minutes into its launch. In 2012, an urn with a different portion of his ashes made it into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9.


“What [Garriott] did was touching — it meant so much to me, so much to my family and it would have meant so much to my dad,” Doohan’s son Chris told the Times of London.

READ MORE: Ashes of Star Trek’s Scotty smuggled on to International Space Station [Times of London]

More on human remains: Upcoming Mission Will Fly Human Remains to the Moon

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