At the end of this month, 63 Japanese will be “buried” in space. The ceremonial burial is in fact going to include people from all over the world. This service is provided by Celestis, Inc, a company from the United States.
Celestis has been providing this service since 1997. According to a spokesman, since the space burial service was launched, the Japanese has become their second most numerous customers, the first being Americans. So what exactly is a space burial anyway?
The first step is for the deceased to be cremated here on Earth. The ashes which result from the cremation are then placed into capsules – or rather, a small amount of the ashes. The capsules range from 1 gram to 14 grams, depending on the person. The capsules containing the ashes of the deceased are the placed in a satellite, which will eventually be launched into space. Once launched, the satellite will be orbiting the Earth for several years, after which it will burn out in space.
How much will a space burial set you back? Celestis advertises different services in their web site and based on the information given there, you can spend anywhere from USD695 to USD12,500. The services range from Earth Rise Service, Earth Orbit Service, Luna Service, and Voyager Service, respectively.
For more information – whether you are merely curious or you want to make plans for your future – visit the Celestis web site.