[FPSPACE] Bring out your dead - to the Moon

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Sun Nov 16 22:40:50 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.

More information about the FPSPACE mailing list