Companies offer chance to spend forever in space

Fly me to the moon - but not back again

Company Offers Buyers The Chance To Spend Forever On The Moon
It's possible to name a star after a loved one - well now there are a couple of companies giving you the chance to offer them the moon.

A company based in San francisco called Elysium Space signed a contract with Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology this week to deliver people's ashes to the surface of the moon aboard Astrobotic's Griffin lander.

Another space burial company, Houston-based Celestis, also plans to fly cremated remains to the moon using the Griffin.

Celestis' moon burial options start at $12,500 (£8,000), while Elysium Space's "Lunar Memorial" service costs $11,950.

"From the first day we started Elysium Space and imagined awe-inspiring memorials, we thought that the moon could create the quintessential commemoration," Elysium Space founder and CEO Thomas Civeit, a former NASA engineer, said in a statement.

"Offering this exceptional tribute within the reach of most families is an important part of this new chapter opening for our civilisation."

Earth's orbit

The moon isn't the only off-Earth burial option being offered by Celestis and Elysium Space.

Both companies will also launch ashes into deep space or loft them into Earth's orbit. Elysium plans involve the remains eventually burning up in the atmosphere as "shooting stars".

Celestis offers an "Earth Rise" service that sends an ashes-laden capsule to space and then recovers it back on the ground.

Neither Celestis nor Elysium Space operates its own rockets; both companies will arrange to get ashes aboard rockets already scheduled to launch, as secondary payloads, reports