Cosmic Dust

The email said, “Celestis, Inc. (@celestisflights) is now following you on Twitter.” The notification didn’t ring any bells with me right away. However their Twitter bio grabbed my attention: “First and only provider of memorial spaceflights, with ten launches to date containing cremated remains of hundreds of loved ones aboard commercial satellites.”

Celestis is the company that launched a portion of Gene Roddenberry’s cremains into space in 1997. In the not-too-distant future, more of Gene’s ashes will be launched into deep space, along with a portion of his wife Majel’s cremains. For those who want to stay closer to home, the company will introduce a Luna Service that puts a gram of your ashes either on the moon or in lunar orbit.

I’ve written recently about my love of the Apollo space program as a child. It happened to be in a post about cupcakes. I’ve also written about my tour of the East Tennessee Cremation Company. However, I still want a traditional, exhumable burial. Catholics can be cremated but their remains are supposed to be kept together, in a cemetery or colombarium.

For those who have the money, sending ashes into space is similar to scattering them at sea or in a park (presumably with a permit). Because space is a vacuum, the cremains would stay put. We’ve all seen comedies where the ashes end up all over the person trying to scatter them. I wonder if the future will bring opportunities for larger amounts of cremains or even whole bodies to be forever buried in space.

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