The ticket for the near future space travel is exorbitant, but that does not mean it will be out-of-reach, or at least it won’t be out-of-reach for the dead because a California-based company, Elysium Space, is providing a service that will see the remains of a loved one rocketing to celestial level, like quite literally. In other words, Elysium Space is a space-age funeral service of sort. The company calls it a memorial spaceflight and so, it is not quite a funeral, but really, as the name implies, a memorial service that offers a loved one who have passed on a chance to travel to space.
The service, dubbed Elysium Star II mission costs something like $2,490 or more, will see a sample of loved one’s ash placed inside a custom capsule (a really tiny one) and loaded into a dedicated spacecraft module destined for the dark void of space. An engraved message of your choosing will accompany the sample ash-filled capsule, along with a bunch of others, will then hitch a ride to space on an unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The entire proceeding does not end at launch. In fact, the launch to space is just the beginning of a two-year journey where the satellite will travel around the Earth in a “sun-synchronous orbit,” thus ensuring that the sample ash from the loved one will passes “over every occasion in the world,” or at least most of it along the path of the satellite’s orbit.
Living members of the deceased will be invited to witness the launch event at Vandenberg Air Force base in southern California, after which, they will be able to track the ‘mission’, in real-time, via a free smartphone app. After two years in the celestial sky, the satellite will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burning up in the process. No words on when Elysium Star II mission will actually happen, but in case you are interested, the flight for the dead is still open for reservation. Already, a 2018 launch is in the pipeline. Apparently, this was not first by Elysium Space. The first space memorial was launched back in 2015 (hence the ‘II’ in the mission name) and while it was a successful launch, the 2015’s mission did not actaully reach the planned orbit.
Images via Elysium Space.