Feeds

Virginia ponders tax breaks for (dead) human space flights

The right stuff - cremated

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.