Cremains Sent to Space Aboard SpaceX Rocket, Report Says

James Marshall
December 5, 2018

Elysium Space put the cremated remains of 100 people in a four-inch memorial satellite called CubeSat to send "shooting star memorials" into the sky, each of which memorial costs $2,490.

For one USA family, it meant fulfilling the final wish of their 36-year-old son who died in November 2016.

The launch is part of a rideshare mission by Spaceflight, which purchased the rocket to accommodate clients that range from government entities, business and organizations looking for rideshare options to launch their spacecraft into orbit. "The Shooting Star Memorial is a service that delivers a symbolic portion of your loved one's remains to Earth's orbit, only to end this celestial journey as a shooting star". The satellites will remain in orbit for four years before they fall back to earth, Elysium Space CEO Thomas Civeit told CNN.

Moreover, apart from this, 64 satellites - 15 micro-satellites and 49 CubeSats - were launched simultaneously into space aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, setting a United States record.

His family said that the 36-year-old avid photographer was a missile and rocket enthusiast when he was alive, and even frequented Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to take pictures of launches. That way, the family could be there.

For the memorial mission, ashes were packed into small capsules, each individually engraved with initials.

The Eberlings will send a message with him, that reads, "James, you were a grounded Eagle on Earth - may you now soar thru the Heavens". She'd given the company some of her son's ashes, and at one point she was skeptical the mission would actually go forward.

The launch has been delayed, but Beverly doesn't mind. "And I think that James is very, very happy to finally see that this is going to finally take place".

Along with a 1998 NASA mission that sent a vial of an astronomer's ashes to the moon, CNN reports, Elysium Space had a similar mission in 2012. The first Shooting Star Memorial was launched in late 2015, but did not reach its planned orbit, according to the company's website. Mercury 7 astronaut Gordon Cooper's ashes were on board that flight as well.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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