The SpaceX ship launched early Tuesday contained more than just supplies for the International Space Station; it also carried samples of the remains of about 300 people, including an actor known for his role in the Star Trek movie and television series.
Actor James Doohan, who died in 2007, is among those who chose to have several grams of their ashes launched on a “memorial spaceflight” with the help of a private company called Celestis.
Celestis arranges for the remains to be a secondary cargo aboard a satellite. The length of the orbit can vary from two years to several-hundred years, according to the satellite's primary mission.
Doohan is not the first Star Trek team member to have his ashes launched into space – what the show called “the final frontier.” The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry were launched into the heavens in 1997.
In the series about the multicultural crew of the futuristic starship Enterprise, Doohan played the ship's chief engineer “Scotty,” who spoke with a Scottish lilt.