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The Dragon capsule is now on its way to the International Space Station following its launch on May 22. But what the Falcon 9 rocket carried up to space was something else - the ashes of James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty in Star Trek.

Doohan's ashes were in the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which separated from the capsule 9 minutes and 49 seconds after the launch. His canister of ashes is now in orbit alongside a less famous hero - Gordon Cooper. Cooper was one of the original Mercury Seven, the first astronauts in the history of American spaceflight. He was also the first American to sleep in orbit and the last American astronaut to be in orbit on his own. He didn't make it into Apollo but he was part of the Gemini Project.

Gordon Cooper and James Doohan's ashes will not be in orbit forever. Their canisters will fall down to Earth in about a year, disintegrating upon re-entry.

[Celestis]