[FPSPACE] Bring out your dead - to the Moon
ljk4 at msn.com
Sun Nov 16 22:32:54 EST 2008
US space-funeral company plans to launch lunar cemetery
by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Nov 14, 2008
A US funeral business that specializes in launching cremated human remains
into Earth's orbit has begun taking reservations for landing small capsules
of ashes on the moon, announced the company's founder.
"Celestis' first general public lunar mission could occur as early as 2010
and reservations are now being taken," said Charles M. Chafer, Celestis
founder and president, in an email to AFP.
"We can send up to 5000 individual capsules to the lunar surface," he said.
The company hopes to install a cemetery on the lunar surface to hold
cremated remains of the dead, or a smaller symbolic portion of them, which
one day could be visited by relatives of the deceased, said Chafer.
For transportation, Celestis has made deals with two other US private space
companies, Odyssey Moon and Astrobotic Technology, which are currently
working on making commercial flights to the moon.
For sending a tiny, one gram portion of cremated remains to the moon, the
company charges 9,995 dollars, according to Celestis' website.
Other funeral services besides the full lunar trip include sending ash into
Earth's orbit -- the cheapest option, starting at 700 dollars -- and all the
way up to launching remains far, far away into deep space, for which the
company charges more than 37,000 dollars.
The latter option is expected to be available from 2011, after the
development of a special capsule to hold the remains, the company said.
Ten years ago NASA paid tribute to top US astronomer Eugene Shoemaker by
carrying into space a portion of his cremated remains.
After a year in lunar orbit Shoemaker's remains were intentionally planted
on the moon's south pole, the first time human remains have been landed on
the lunar surface -- but maybe not the last time.
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