Where will your ashes go after you die? How about the moon

20 Aug 2015

Years after his death, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s ashes were famously carried into space, spending some time in orbit around the Earth.

But where will your ashes go after you die?

Elysium Space, a “unique team of space and funeral experts”, is offering an answer: how about the moon?

Elysium Space, based in San Francisco, recently partnered with Astrobotic, makers of space robotic technology and purveyors of planetary missions.

According to Wired, Astrobotic brought Elysium Space a challenge.

Prior to the companies’ partnership, Astrobiotic had been contacted by Steven Jenks, an infantry soldier with an unusual request.

When Jenks was on tour, his mother always signed her letters off with: “No matter how lonely you feel and how far you are, always look at the moon and know I am with you. I love you to the moon and back. Love, Mom”.

Jenks wanted to honour his mother by sending her ashes to the moon, so that she could look over him and his family forever.

And so Elysium Space stepped up to the plate.

As Astrobotic was already set up to send payloads to the moon, the partnership could not have been more fortuitous.

Speaking to Wired, Thomas Civeit, founder of Elysium Space and a former NASA and ESA mission engineer, said: “Astrobotic does not provide such services to individuals, but we were signing our contract with Astrobotic at the time and we were honoured to make Steven’s wish come true”.

Lunar Memorial not for the light of cash

Elysium Space was already offering the Shooting Star Memorial option, which involves the launching of a person’s ashes into orbit and their return as a bright streak across the sky. The first launches will take place this autumn.

Sending ashes to the moon, however, is a bit more of a stretch, and prices reflect that.

A trip to the moon for your dear departed will currently set you back US$9,950. If you’re not one of the first 50 to sign up, however, the Lunar Memorial price climbs up to US$11,950.

The shooting star option costs a comparatively slight US$1,990.

If your loved one is of the furry variety, don’t worry – they’re not being left out of the great space burial revolution.

Wired reports that Celestis Pets was in the game first, and will send Fido to the great dog park in the sky in an engraved capsule.

If the moon just isn’t far enough for you, a look at the Elysium Space website tells us you may soon (but hopefully not too soon) be able to send your ashes a little bit further.

The Milky Way Memorial will “deliver a significant portion of remains to Deep Space, leaving the solar system to traverse the infinite universe”.

So what are you waiting for? Book your ashes on a one-way trip to the stars.

Aren’t we all just stardust anyway?

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Main image via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic