Feeds

Virginia ponders tax breaks for (dead) human space flights

The right stuff - cremated

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The US may not be able to singlehandedly put a live man into space right now, but Virginia politicians may be about to boost the number of dead Americans catapulted into orbit.

The Virginia General Assembly is soon to consider a bill that will allow an income tax deduction of up to $8,000 (£5,100) for burials in space, WTVR reports.

The tax break for families who decide to commemorate their loved ones by hurling their earthly remains as far away as possible is part of a plan to boost the prospects of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia.

The bill is being sponsored by Terry Kilgore, a republican state pol, but it has the support of local boosters keen to capitalise on Wallops Island's evolution from a site for weather and military satellite launches to the much more useful shooting of human ashes.

Tourism commissioner Donna Bozza told the station that the break would boost local businesses in the area, as mourners flooded the hotels and restaurants, and other attractions, around the spaceport.

"If you're spending that money to go to space, you're going to want your peeps to cheer you on," she reportedly said. J Jack Kennedy, a member of the board of directors for the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority, was similarly respectful, saying: "This is about business and job opportunities."

If the bill passes muster, Wallops Island will find itself in competition with Texas-based Space Services, which has performed 10 "memorial spaceflights" at prices ranging from $995 per gram of cremated remains. Space Services' next flight, scheduled for Q1 2012, is already booked out, though it has yet to name its favoured hotel partners for attending family members.

Celestis doesn't actually place your loved one in permanent orbit, never mind sending them on a neverending trajectory through the stars. Rather, "each spacecraft stays permanently attached to a rocket stage that orbits Earth until the spacecraft harmlessly re-enters and is completely consumed by Earth’s atmosphere — blazing like a shooting star in final tribute to the passengers aboard".

Videos are available on request. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.