Sometime between 10:32 and 11 this morning, another SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be launched into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Organized by a company called Spaceflight, the so-called “rideshare mission” will send into orbit more than 70 satellites on behalf of “approximately 35” public and private organizations. Among them is Elysium Space, a San Francisco-based company that lets families memorialize deceased loved ones by paying to blast a portion of their cremated remains into space. According to CNN, symbolic portions of roughly 100 people are aboard the rocket that’s being launched today.
Besides the launch itself, Elysium’s $2,500 Shooting Star Memorial service includes the printing of a personal message on the memorial spacecraft, a video of the launch, an invite to view the launch, and a certificate of completion of the launch. The company isn’t taking reservations for future Shooting Star launches at the moment, but reservations are open for its more expensive Lunar Memorial service, which sends a loved one’s remains to the surface of the moon for the bargain price of $9,950; that launch is expected to take place in 2019. The first Shooting Star Memorial was launched in late 2015, but did not reach its planned orbit, according to the company’s website.
Falcon 9 and Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express went vertical last night on SpaceX’s California launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Vehicle and weather are go ahead of today’s launch window, which opens at 10:32 a.m. PST, 18:32 UTC → https://t.co/gtC39uBC7z pic.twitter.com/JCWvVfNpJD
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 3, 2018
According to Elysium’s founder, Thomas Civeit, the remains will orbit the earth four about four years before falling back to Earth, and during that time family members can track the orbit in real-time using an app. Civeit’s company was born of the opinion that the “time to change the vision of death from the Underground to the Celestial is now.”
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