All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia

Posted by Anonymous
on Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Where do you want to go when you die? I don't mean in the sense of an afterlife. That's too complicated and contentious — the myriad beliefs range from nowhere to reincarnation to paradise (or somewhere considerably warmer). Where do you want to go in a literal sense? An ornate family mausoleum? Davy Jones' locker? Depending on your budget, part of you could end up in space.

Celestis, a subsidiary of Space Service, Inc., "makes it possible to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one by launching a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface, or into deep space." These options range in cost from $495 to $67,495.

The company recently announced that ashes from Star Trek actor James Doohan and Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper will launch from Las Cruces, New Mexico, April 28. Should you replicate their ride to space and back, it will set your estate back $495

Keep in mind that Celestis sends only a "symbolic" amount into space: 1 to 14 grams. At this point, the company doesn't offer rides for a person's entire cremated remains, which averages 5 pounds. Depending on your size, it could cost more for a cremated "Payload You" to go for a rocket ride to space and back than it would to ride aboard Virgin Galactic's spacecraft, which hopes to begin service in 2009. Considering you will have a window view and, more importantly, be alive, perhaps Virgin Galactic's price of $200,000 isn't too outlandish. 

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