People are dying to get into space -literally, and they’re getting there on a SpaceX rocket compliments of Elsyium Space. Billed as the world’s first “memorial spacecraft”, human remains are transported into space where they orbit the Earth and eventually burn-up.
Elysium Star II memorial spacecraft will be on Spaceflight’s SSO-A dedicated rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Last November Elysium Space announced its revolutionary partnership with Spaceflight, a leading provider of launch and mission management services, to offer annual memorial spaceflight services to families, drastically reducing waiting times from years to months.
“We are honored to assist families in achieving their dreams, riding on one of the greatest rocket in the world. This historical launch provides the perfect conditions to make this memorial spaceflight an exceptionally meaningful experience for all participants.” said Thomas Civeit, founder and CEO of Elysium Space.
The 100 participants already booked for the upcoming mission include U.S. military veterans, aerospace enthusiasts, and families looking to celebrate a loved one within the poetry of the starry sky.
The spacecraft will be deployed in a Sun-synchronous orbit, ensuring it will pass over every location in the world during its journey among the stars, which will last about 2 years before re-entering the atmosphere as a shooting star.
The trip starts at $2,490, a relative bargain compared to current funeral and burial costs. According to recent pricing from funeral site parting.com, the average cost of a grave site is $1,000, the cost to dig a grave is $600, the cost of a required grave liner is about $1,000, and a head stone is around $1,500.
Family and friends of the deceased can also track their loved one in the sky by using a free iOS/Android Elysium mobile app which displays the memorial spacecraft location in real time during the mission, enhancing the overall personal connection and experience.
The Elysium Space memorial spacecraft are the first dedicated satellites ever launched for this purpose, and offer the most personal experience; previous memorial spaceflights consisted in mounting participants’ capsules to a rocket upper stage or another existing satellite.
“Offering dedicated rideshare missions makes it easier and more affordable for organizations like Elysium Space to execute their space missions,” said Curt Blake, President of Spaceflight’s launch division. “We are pleased to be able to play a role in their historical mission.”
This milestone allows Elysium Space to pursue its prime mission of offering exceptional tributes that are within the reach of most families; by looking into the infinite wonder of the night sky, we can remember the beauty of those who have touched our lives forever.