December 22, 2004

Rest in Space

Marilyn Monroe once said, "Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle." That said, for Christmas one year I bought a star for my mother. Well, the naming rights for a star from the International Star Registry who recorded the name and filed it with the Registry's vault in Switzerland. Actually, I'm quite pleased that when I look up into the night sky, the "HiDoll" star is twinkling back at me.

For those who want more, than a star in the night sky, you can now launch cremated remains into space, attend the launch and get a video of the blast-off.

For $5,300, Space Services will fill a capsule the size of a lipstick tube with about seven grams of cremated ash, pack it into a small canister and arrange to have it flown into space. Relatives are invited to attend the launch and participate in a group memorial service after their loved ones have been laid to rest, so to speak. The company even will provide a keepsake video of the launch preparations and blastoff.

Space Services also offers to entomb a gram of cremated remains in a container the size of a watch battery and fly it for $995. "We've try to keep our services right at or less than the cost of the average funeral in the United States," Chafer said.

Charlie Chafer has decided on this new market to give new lift to his company. "Everybody dies," said Chafer who has spent his entire professional career trying to open the space frontier.

So far, the orbitally entombed include "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, LSD explorer Timothy Leary and space colony designer Gerard K. O'Neill. Others have made it into space through the kindness of friends: An ounce of the cremated remains of comet-hunter Eugene Shoemaker was packed aboard the Lunar Prospector spacecraft before it lifted off for a moon-mapping mission this month. Roddenberry's ashes actually traveled into the final frontier once before, when an astronaut pal quietly carried a bit of cremated ash into space during a 1992 shuttle mission.

The "HiDoll" star is in the Andromeda constellation (RA 23h 11.07s 49º56' 09.996 -Star # 6 3644 1491)

Posted by Jill Fallon at December 22, 2004 1:57 AM | Permalink