Opinion

Send your ashes to space

by
October 13, 2017

Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy you a ticket to space. Picture: space albator

Christmas is less than 10 weeks away and you’ll be looking for a last minute gift idea?

Looking for something different for the person who has everything — what about the gift of space?

It’s the latest fad and its appeal has been out of this world, literally.

It could backfire but, what about the gift of a space burial?

We’re talking about the launching of cremated remains into outer space being offered by a few companies like Celestis and Elysium Space.

From all accounts, sales have been taking off like a rocket. Sorry.

Your loved one’s ashes are sealed inside lipstick-sized containers inside the spacecraft until it reaches orbit then burns up on re-entry or, if you pay a little bit more, till it escapes the solar system completely.

This service starts around $2500 with the deep space option for $12500.

The process is simple and completed with the utmost respect and care.

A portion of cremated remains is carefully loaded into the Celestis spacecraft and attached to the launch vehicle.

It’s the ultimate postscript for the space nerd in your life.

On launch day, families gather at the lift-off site to share the experience of seeing their loved ones’ dreams of spaceflight realised.

With a roar and a fiery streak across the sky, the rocket lifts its precious load higher and higher into the peaceful solitude of space.

Memories of the flight participants’ lives are shared among friends and family at the pre-launch memorial service and preserved on the keepsake video or DVD, which is included in the service.

Afterwards, the company provides a professionally-produced DVD of the entire event as a keepsake to be shared among family members.

Sound a tad way out? Sure, but as they say, hold your money — there’s more.

Celestis soon expects to be able to send ‘participants,’ as the remains are called, to the surface of the Moon, starting at $9995.

The dead who have been beamed up include James Doohan, who played Scotty in Star Trek, and the creator of Star Trek himself, Gene Roddenberry.

Celestis flights have honoured the lives of people from the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Denmark, The Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, China, and Germany.

Would you like to be the first Aussie?

David Reneke is an Australian astronomer and writer for Australian Science magazine. His free astronomy newsletter can be found at www.davidreneke.com

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