SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which is to be launched for the third time overnight on 25 June, will send not only 24 satellites but also the ashes of 152 people into Earth’s orbit. The tiny metal capsules with people’s loved ones will be on the same spacecraft carrying NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, which could impact the way robots and astronauts navigate, as Business Insider reports.
All the capsules have been glued into a flat metal sleeve stowed on the upper deck of the spacecraft for the Falcon Heavy.
Relatives were reportedly able to choose how much of their loved ones’ remains they wanted to send into space because the company offers to launch between 1 and 7 grams in single or double capsules. There was also an option to inscribe a tomb-like verse on the tiny containers. According to Business Insider, some of these participants’ relatives decided to opt for optimistic sayings like "Reach for the stars!" and "Space Truckin' Forever”.
This launch of the remains has been organised by a company called Celestis Memorial Spaceflights, which has sent human remains into space since 1994 and flown their “participants” on 15 different rockets, including one that crashed into the Moon.
The list of the “passengers” have included children, astronauts, space enthusiasts, scientists and even "Star Trek" actor James "Scotty" Doohan, whose remains were sent into orbit in 2008.
The price for the one-way journey varies from under $5,000 if one’s ashes are flown into orbit to over $12,500 for lunar flights and expeditions into deep space.