Feeds

Virginia ponders tax breaks for (dead) human space flights

The right stuff - cremated

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?