SpaceX is gearing up for the third launch of Falcon Heavy Rocket. The mission has been named Space Test Program-2 (STP-2). A unique thing about this mission is the fact that it will be carrying the ashes of 152 dead persons into the orbit. The cremated remains are the courtesy of Celestis Memorial Spaceflights.
Celestis Memorial Spaceflights is a company that purchases an available room on spacecraft and then packs it with capsules of the remains of dead persons that it calls ‘participants’. The company was founded about fifteen years ago in 1994 and has already flown participants on fifteen different rockets. Celestis Memorial Spaceflights even had the ashes of planetary scientist and geologist Eugene Shoemaker to the moon back in 1998.
The company also took the ashes of ‘Star Trek’ actor James Scotty Doohan into the orbit back in 2008. Celestis Memorial Spaceflights bought room on the Orbital Test Bed satellite for the SpaceX’s Space Test Program-2 Mission. The company will be sending the ashes in a flat metal sleeve where a total of 152 capsules have been glued.
The capsules vary in sizes and their weights. However, they generally weigh between 7 grams and 1 gram. Furthermore, these capsules also have sayings that are etched into them. Some of the etchings for the Space Test Program-2 will include ‘Reach for the stars!’ and ‘Space Truckin’ Forever’. The cost of sending ashes into orbital flights is $5,000, and it costs $12,500 for deep-space and lunar flights.
The Space Test Program-2 mission is also slated to launch twenty-four satellites into orbit around our beloved planet. The mission will commence at 11:30 p.m. ET on June 24 and 2:30 a.m. ET on June 25. What do you think about sending the ashes to space? While the idea sure sounds unique, the cost is definitely a bit too much!