While it may be surprising for some to learn that James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty in the original 'Star Trek' series, isn't actually Scottish, it may be even more surprising to learn that he's spent the past twelve years in space.

Per a story in the Times UK, a secret mission took place in 2008 to smuggle some of the ashes of James Doohan aboard the International Space Station. The story goes that Richard Garriott - a video-game designer and one of the few private citizens who's managed to become a space tourist - took with him a laminated card of James Doohan that contained some of the actor's ashes. Doohan passed away in 2005 at the age of 85.

"It was completely clandestine," Garriott told the Times, who took part in a 12-day mission aboard the ISS in 2008. "His family were very pleased that the ashes made it up there but we were all disappointed we didn’t get to talk about it publicly for so long. Now enough time has passed that we can."

The reason for the secrecy was that prior attempts to have Doohan's ashes transported into space hadn't succeeded, or requests were unilaterally denied. However, Garriott brought the laminated card containing Doohan's ashes aboard and shoved them underneath a floor plate on the ISS. To date, Doohan's ashes have orbited the Earth over 70,000 times and have travelled some 1.7 million miles in space, roughly the same as two return trips to the moon.

All in all, not a bad way to see off a crew member of the USS Enterprise.