$2,500 To Send Ashes Of Loved Ones Into Space
The memorial spaceflight company composed of a team of former NASA personnel and funeral experts charged about $2,500 to families so they can have samples of their loved ones' ashes placed aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and sent to space.
The launch is part of a rideshare mission by Spaceflight, which purchased the rocket to accommodate clients that range from government entities, business and organizations looking for rideshare options to launch their spacecraft into orbit.
"As demand for affordable launch options continues to grow, dedicated rideshare missions will play an important role in providing frequent and reliable access to space," Spaceflight president Curt Blake said in a statement.
Elysium Space founder and CEO Thomas Civeit said that the ashes were packed into a 4-inch square cubesat before these are launched into space.
Families can track the spacecraft in real time using an app as it orbits around Earth before it is expected to fall back after about four years.
The ashes of James Eberling, who died in November 2016, is among those that will be sent into space.
His family said that the 36-year-old avid photographer was a missile and rocket enthusiast when he was alive, and even frequented Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to take pictures of launches.
"We're overjoyed to be able to grant him his final wish. and it means a lot to my husband and myself that we're able to do this for him," Everling's mother, Beverly, said. "And I think that James is very, very happy to finally see that this is going to finally take place."
Companies Offering Space Funerals
Elysium is not the only company that offers space funerals. Celestis is another company that provides a similar service to send a person's remains into orbit.