In a world where the end of life once meant a dark, earthy grave, a new era has dawned, one where the afterlife takes on an interstellar journey. Imagine, instead of resting beneath the soil, your final resting place could be the vast, enigmatic cosmos.
Since the mid-90s, a peculiar yet mesmerizing option has emerged – sending one’s remains into the boundless universe. Companies like Celestis have pioneered this cosmic voyage, launching ashes into space aboard rockets. These celestial voyages offer varied destinations: a perpetual orbit around Earth, a voyage into the depths of space, or an eternal rest on the lunar surface.
This concept isn’t mere fantasy. Icons like Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame and the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, have chosen this star-bound farewell, as have pioneers like astronaut L. Gordon Cooper. Their choice is a testament to humanity’s unending fascination with the stars.
Intriguing stories abound among those who select this otherworldly send-off. Take, for instance, Kenneth Ohm, a physicist with a dream that stretches beyond the grave. He intends to dispatch his DNA to the moon’s south pole, not just as a symbolic gesture for his family to gaze upon the moon and remember him but for a more pragmatic, albeit speculative, reason. Imagine a distant future where advanced humans or even extraterrestrial beings discover his genetic material. Could they resurrect a version of Ohm, perhaps in a cosmic zoo or as part of an interstellar legion?
Though the idea teeters on the edge of science fiction, it highlights the boundless possibilities that space burials offer. Beyond the sheer awe of a space journey, these services include a memorial and a tour of the launch site, culminating in a farewell that transcends traditional ceremonies.