Wanna get your ash off this planet? It’s now cheaper

If you had your heart set on having your final resting place be on the moon, but thought that the $12,500 starting rate charged by Houston-based Celestis was a little bit too steep, odds are you’ll be thrilled to learn that a second firm has announced plans to offer similar services.

According to Space.com, San Francisco-based Elysium Space announced on Wednesday that it would be partnering with Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology to use the company’s Griffin lander to deliver people’s ashes to the lunar surface for the low price of just $11,950.

“From the first day we started Elysium Space and imagined awe-inspiring memorials, we thought that the Moon could create the quintessential commemoration,” Elysium founder and CEO Thomas Civeit said in a statement. “Offering this exceptional tribute within the reach of most families is an important part of this new chapter opening for our civilization.”

To sweeten the deal, Elysium is promising to knock an extra $2,000 off the price for the first 50 people that order their “Lunar Memorial” service, in which customers provide the company with a “symbolic portion” of their loved one’s cremated remains. Those remains are then placed into a personalized capsule and sent them to the moon on Astrobiotic’s lander.

Meet the companies that want to send your ashes into space

Like Elysium, Celestis also plans to fly cremated remains to the moon using the Griffin, as well as a second lunar lander developed by Silicon Valley-based Moon Express. Likewise, both firms offer alternative resting places for those who would rather not have their bodies spend eternity on the moon, including having their ashes placed in Earth’s orbit or shot into deep space.

Also, while neither company operates its own rockets, at least one of them has a track record of successful space burial missions, Space.com said. Celestis has flown 13 total missions, sending the remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and nearly two dozen others into space, and even successfully sending a payload to the moon as part of a 1998 NASA lunar mission.

Elysium, on the other hand, plans to launch its first space burial mission later on this year when it sends remains into orbit around the planet. The lander developers, Astrobotic and Moon Express, intend to deliver payloads to the moon for government organization, universities, and commercial partners. Both are also completing in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition.

“Astrobotic’s mission is to make the Moon accessible to the world,” noted CEO John Thornton, adding that it was “a privilege to provide an experience that will allow families to commemorate and honor loved ones by directly connecting them with the Moon in the night sky.”


Feature Image: Thinkstock