Ask someone what they want their funeral to be like and they’ll probably say, “Why, what do you know?!” Once they’ve calmed down, though, they’ll probably express some sort of preference. Most people would want something memorable. That’s (apparently) why the pyramids were built, after all. But the Egyptian pharaohs didn’t have space as an option. At least, not as far as we know.
A company called Celestis offers a variety of ways to send the recently departed into space, with the least expensive option actually involving getting them back again. So you can scatter granddad’s ashes knowing that the last thing he ever did was get really, really high.
Putting the ‘fun’ in funeral
Seriously, though, Celestis offers its customers space funerals. And if you thought it was expensive to go to space while you’re alive, you’re right. It’s far less expensive to travel into orbit (or to the moon) if you’re dead and occupy a convenient urn. Space travel is all about weight, after all.
That doesn’t make it cheap, though. Sending (a bit of) the deceased into space and getting them back costs around R40,000. It’s up to you whether that’s cremated ash or DNA. What amount of DNA… isn’t explained, but we doubt you can send a foot or something.
Sending a loved one into orbit around Earth is closer to R80,000 while sending them into lunar orbit, the surface of the moon or deep space starts at around R200,000. And if the thought of all this is all too morbid for you, you can also avail yourself of Celestis’ services for the living. The company has options for storing your DNA on the moon’s surface or on a craft in deep space. Perhaps one day you’ll be collected and cloned by some alien race. Or maybe you’ll drift around in the cold vastness of space until entropy causes everything to collapse in on itself. Either way, it’ll cost you at least 200 grand.