Before his death in 2005 at the age of 85, Canadian actor James Doohan bequeathed to be cremated and sent into space. NASA rejected an official request from the James family, and arguments such as that the actor played the role of one of the most famous characters of the “Star Trek” series Montgomery Scott, nicknamed “Scotty”, did not help, and therefore has the right to such a privilege. Then the relatives went a different way, violating the rules for visiting the ISS.
Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima game series and businessman, was among the first space tourists to travel to the ISS back in 2008. The 12-day trip cost him $ 30 million. When he was already undergoing pre-flight quarantine at a base in Kazakhstan, Chris Dukhan, the son of the deceased, contacted him and asked for help with the delivery of his father’s ashes into space.
Garriott agreed, received in the mail a parcel with ashes and three laminated photographs of Doukhan Sr. He poured ashes into the plastic packaging of each of the photographs and hid them in his flight data folder. Nobody noticed anything, and already on the ISS Garriott managed to secretly open the inner skin of the European module Columbus, where he left a photo with ashes.
Neither Garriott nor the Dukhan family told anyone anything, the ashes remained secret on the ISS for 12 years. But then they nevertheless decided to admit that they had fulfilled the will of James. The most interesting thing is that already in 2012, the Falcon 9 rocket launched a container with the ashes of Dukhan and another 307 people into orbit, as part of a legal procedure for ceremonial burial in space organized by SpaceX.