News Bit: Burial in Space

It's not exactly the adventure of a lifetime, but burial in space is now an option for your earthly remains.

burial in space - cartoon

What do you suppose aliens would make of burial in space?

ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

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At long last the space age offers an alternative to the cold, cold ground. Sometime in 1986, undertakers will begin using privately owned rockets to launch human remains into outer space. One morticians' group that has contracted for a space launch the, Celestis Group of Melbourne, Florida, plans to reduce cremated remains by further heating and then place them in one-centimeter-by-three-centimeter capsules printed with a religious symbol and the name and Social Security number of the deceased.

A mausoleum attached to the nose of the booster rocket will carry 13,000 or so of the capsules aloft into the Van Allen radiation belts for burial in space. It’s expected to remain in orbit for around 63 million years. Reflective materials will coat the mausoleum to help earthly relatives identify the stellar sepulcher as it passes overhead.