James “Scotty” Doohan’s ashes may have been aboard the ISS since 2008

Garriott paid $30 million to fly to the ISS in October 2008, during a period when a company called Space Adventures was selling tickets to private citizens. He was already in quarantine in Kazakhstan, but told the younger Doohan that if he could mail him the ashes, he’d get them aboard. After they arrived, he laminated the ashes into three photos of Doohan and smuggled them into his flight data file, Garriott told the Times.

One he gave to Chris Doohan and another has long since burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere after he let it float into space from an airlock. However, Garriott cached the third under the floor of the space station’s Columbus module while he was aboard. He backed that up with a photo, along with a video taken aboard the ISS in which he honored Doohan, while failing to mention the ashes.

Garriott told the Times that “enough time has passed” that he could now discuss the story, given that NASA would no doubt have frowned on bringing cremated human remains aboard the ISS. That said, Garriott has talked about the ashes before at least as far back as 2018.

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