The ashes of the late James Doohan, who played “Scotty” in the original Star Trek series, were successfully launched into space this week, nearly seven year’s after the actor’s death. You can watch a video of the liftoff here below.
Doohan died on July 20, 2005, at the age of 85 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and then pneumonia. It was Doohan’s final wish to have his cremated remains launched into space after his death. The launch was originally scheduled for 2006, but was moved to 2008, but that attempt failed.
On Tuesday, a second attempt was scheduled by SpaceX, which was successful, making the U.S. company the first commercial entity to send its own spacecraft toward the International Space Station. According to Sky News, Doohan’s remains were launched from the craft’s cargo-bearing Dragon capsule and also contained the ashes of over 300 people, including those of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper.
The remains are held in a container with lipstick-tube-sized canisters and, if all goes as planned, the container should spend the next year or so circling Earth as an orbital space memorial before it is pulled back into the atmosphere and incinerated.
Artist David Reddick did a cartoon for James Doohan from his webcomic The Trek Life a few years ago to coincide with the original launch. Star Trek star George Takei posted the cartoon today to his Facebook account; it’s so fitting and will bring tears to the eyes of any Star Trek fan. Check it out here above.
Doohan appeared in all three seasons of the original 1960s Star Trek television series as engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. When the series made the leap to the big screen in 1979, the Canadian actor joined his fellow castmates for six “original series” Star Trek movies, and had a cameo in the seventh film, Star Trek: Generations, a crossover film of the original series and The Next Generation