Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/12/ashes_space/
Travel to the stars for $1,000
It's a one-way trip, though
If you are planning your funeral and would like to go out with a bang, then why not consider a quick cremation, followed by one one-way trip for your ashes to the inexorable vastness of space?
For a mere $1000, you too can have a gram of your mortal remains blasted skyward courtesy of Houston-based Space Services. Send seven grams, and get a bulk discount as the cost per gram falls to a mere $757.
What a bargain.
The more cynical of you out there are probably wondering: is this a funeral service or an innovative way of combating global warming? A tribute to a lost loved one, or just slightly morbid space junk?
Well, according to Reuters, Space Services has already sent three shuttleloads of ash into orbit. Previous passengers included Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. The launches were put on hold for three years, after the 2001 mission failed to reach orbit, but now, the company is planning a comeback.
Charles Chafer, the company's president and chief executive, told Reuters that the company would be launching "the largest ever space funeral" in between 60-95 days.
Slightly more interesting is the fact that this will be the first ever flight of the Falcon, a new reuseable rocket from SpaceX, the latest venture from Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal.
The rocket will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with (samples of) the remains of up to 150 people on board. If it is successful, Chafer reckons he'll send up between three and four rockets per year. ®