You Can Now Choose the Moon as Your Eternal Resting Place

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 - 4:28PM
Weird Science
Moon
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 - 4:28PM
You Can Now Choose the Moon as Your Eternal Resting Place
This may be simultaneously the most morbid and sentimental use of space yet. Elysium Space, a company described as a "celestial funeral firm," now offers a "memorial spaceflight" in which your cremated remains are brought to the Moon to rest there for all of eternity.

You Can Now Choose the Moon as Your Eternal Resting Place
A small box that holds about 1 gram of human ashes included in Elysium Space's memorial kits.

The two-year-old startup has teamed up with space logistics company Astrobotic Technology in order to provide funeral services that involve spaceflight. The first flight to the moon, which will carry approximately one hundred tiny boxes of human ashes, is expected to launch in the latter half of 2017. 

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"Families who choose our celestial services have a special connection with space or the night sky, for poetic reasons, or because they love the idea of a memorial spaceflight," Elysium founder and former NASA engineer, Thomas Civeit, told CNBC.
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Customers are sent a kit which includes an engravable metal box that can fit one gram of ashes. The family then sends the remains back to Elysium, and Astrobotic's Griffin Lander spacecraft deposits the capsules on the surface of the Moon. Predictably, the service isn't cheap; there will be a special discount for the first 50 takers, who will pay $9,950, but the general cost will be $11,950.

There is a cheaper alternative, however, in the form of Elysium's Shooting Star Memorial. For this service, Elysium launches the capsules into space to enter Earth's orbit, circling the planet for a few months before falling to Earth and burning up in the atmosphere, much like shooting stars. This service costs only $1,990, while the average cost of a funeral in the United States is $7,000.

The next frontier is deep space, as the company hopes to offer a "Milky Way" memorial sometime this year. In this case, the capsules will be ejected into deep space to presumably float for all of eternity, "leaving the solar system to traverse the infinite universe."

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"People often think about technology when they think about space. However, space has other inherent values, like the beauty of the night sky, which can be used to create poetic memorial services," Civeit said. "The idea that humankind can look up at the Moon and poetically commune with its ancestors is probably as old as the human culture itself."
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