July 12, 2004

Burial in Space

Space Services Inc. is poised to resume service in September launching containers full of people's ashes into space, where they will circle the Earth for years to come.
$1,000 for a gram's worth of you, or you can super-size it to seven grams for $5,300.
The company also offers a video of the launch and provides software that allows families to track the orbital location of their loved ones' remains in real time.

The last funeral flight, in September 2001, failed to reach orbit, but three prior launches did.

The company pledges a free relaunch if the first attempt fails. Chafer said the families of 48 of the 50 people whose remains were on the last flight had opted for another attempt.

"The key to the business is the routine access to space," Chafer said, adding the company planned to make three to four launches a year if the Falcon program proves successful.

As much as this appeals to me, I have a couple of problems with the concept. Right up front, let me state that I have no knowledge of exactly what kind of containers they're using, how they're being orbited, nor what kind of orbit they're using. If they're keeping everything together in one larger piece holding all the smaller containers, then that's good. If they're in an orbit that's not useful for any other purpose, then that's good. But this is basically littering in orbit, and someone is making money to do it. It sounds like the orbit will decay in a few years, so the problem takes care of itself eventually. But I don't want to fall into the trap of "there's plenty of room up there" because that kind of thinking led to problems with Earth's oceans. "Plenty of room" implies big, not infinite, and you'd be amazed at how much crap humanity has already left floating around over our heads.

Posted by Ted at July 12, 2004 09:44 AM
Category: Space Program

It always struck me as a little vain, IMHO. And what's the use if the orbit decays after a while...?

Of course, I can be just as eccentric, myself...:

My Mom and I were discussing her cremation arrangements not too long ago, and I came up with an idea that she found amusing. You see, she loves fireworks--especially mortars! So I thought of taking some of her ashes and adding them to the payload of a mortar-shell-style firework. Then, during her wake, we set it off and her ashes are spread across the property she loves so much in a decidedly appropriate and spectacular way!

If I can get one of the HUGE kinds that are set off at city functions, so much the better!


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at July 12, 2004 12:36 PM

Google is your friend, Denita. :D Several years ago, a friend of ours scored a huge crate of monster shells and mortors. Big fun, and the best show outside of the pro's I've ever seen.

Posted by: Ted at July 13, 2004 10:08 AM

I've already Googled some sites. I have quite a bit of time, silly--Mom's still very much alive, and I'm NOT speeding things along! ;-)

But when the time does come, I've already Bookmarked several sites. Heck--I'd probably buy from them anyways, if I could afford it!


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at July 13, 2004 12:31 PM
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