More Space Burial Companies Sending Ashes Far, Far Away

Is the Force strong in you? Have you always wanted to travel to space? Well, though not possible for most of us in life, it is becoming a more popular destination for a final frontier.

Companies like Beyond Burials, Celestis, Aura Flights and California-based Elysium Space are among the companies helping families fly their loved ones’ ashes to the heavens.

As cremation rates rise and cultural and religious traditions fade, space memorials are growing in popularity, says Charles Chafer, Celestis’ founder and CEO. “The notion of, ‘Bury me next to my grandfather in the family plot in a church’ doesn’t work in a mobile society,” Chafer told CNET.

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the TV series Star Trek, is one of the first famous folks to have his cremated remains sent to space in 1992. James Doohan, who played Scotty, followed suit in May of 2012 when a portion of his ashes were sent aboard a rocket. Twelve years later, one of the first private citizens who flew to the International Space Station revealed he’d smuggled more of Doohan’s ashes onto the ISS.

Astronomers, astronauts and scientists are among the others whose ashes were launched into Earth’s orbit. There are plans to send a celebrity cat (Lil Bub) to space, too.

This trend is just one of the tech-powered posthumous possibilities becoming more popular.

For some, these choices work better than a trip across town to a cemetery. One Celestis customer explained she felt like her husband was “always around” when she looked to the skies.

The sentiment echoes Luke’s line to Leia in “The Last Jedi,” “No one’s ever really gone.”

May the Force be with you.

Photo by Martika Van Dierendonck

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