Want to host a burial that’s out of this world? There’s an app for that.
Established in 2013, Elysium Space — named after the state of perpetual happiness in Greek mythology (and not after the eponymous Matt Damon movie) — is offering to send people’s ashes to space for $1,990, Gawker reports.
The “Memorial Spaceflight Service” includes the collection and delivery of the ashes to space, an engraving of the loved one’s initials on “capsules” containing remains, the printing of a 80-character personal message on metal plate to be displayed on the spacecraft, a ticket to the launch and a video of the event, as well as a certificate honoring the completion of the mission.
Founded by Thomas Civeit, who used to work for NASA and on the Hubble Space Telescope, the corporation will send customers a kit with a mini scoop so that they (or someone who works at a funeral home) can put a “symbolic portion of the remains” into a “custom ash capsule” and ship it back to the San Francisco corporation. After takeoff, scheduled tentatively for summer 2014 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, a mobile app will allow loved ones to track the spacecraft’s journey in real time. After orbiting the Earth for anywhere from a few months to several years, the vehicle will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere as a shooting star, according to the company’s website.
While Elysium Space started this year, Celestis, run by the Houston-based Space Services Inc., has been sending portions of remains to space since 1997, when it launched “22 lipstick-sized metal vials” containing ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and American psychologist and LSD expert Timothy Leary at 6,200 mph, TIME reported. The vials were supposed to orbit the Earth for about 10 years before reentering the atmosphere.
Today, prices for memorial spaceflights via Celestis start at $4,995 for trips to Earth’s orbit and $12,500 for trips to the surface of the Moon or the lunar orbit. Deep-space voyages are planned to begin next year.