Until now, SoMa-based startup Elysium Space has been reaching for the stars. For $1,900, the company will arrange to have your loved one's cremated remains blasted into orbit as part of their "celestial services" which are "within the reach of most families" in a "shooting star memorial." Now, reports Wired, they've landed on the moon.
In a sort of deranged space race, Elysium currently employs a "unique team of space and funeral experts, combining experience from major NASA space missions and deep-rooted funeral profession knowledge,” to send your dead relative to a dead rock starting at $9,950. From the website:
Imagine an everlasting memorial where family and friends can commemorate their departed loved ones anytime and anywhere. Instead of looking down upon the Earth in reminiscence, we can raise our eyes to the eternal wonders within the night sky, knowing that our loved ones are always with us. The Lunar Memorial is a service that delivers a symbolic portion of remains to the surface of the Moon, helping to create the quintessential commemoration. Through the everlasting splendor and soft illumination of the Moon, this majestic memorial is with you and your family forever.
Sure, most consider all funerals to be symbolic acts held to honor the dead for the sake of the living. But yeah. Still.
US Army Infantry Soldier Steven Jenks would receive letters from his mother signed, “I love you to the Moon and back.” That gave Jenks a weird idea that I think we can all guess, which Elysium has incorporated into its corporate origin story. "It was perfect timing," said former NASA engineer and Elysium Space founder Thomas Civeit of Jenk's request.
According to Elysium — which is named for the heaven of greek mythology — "Each Participant provides a symbolic portion of remains to be placed into a personalized capsule." That's right, just a pinch of your loved one can make the trip, so you're free to buy an expensive urn for the rest of them or construct a pyramid for them, etc. etc.
"The capsules will be delivered to the lunar surface by Astrobotic’s Griffin lander as part of Astrobotic Mission One." Yes, proving that Elysium is a real startup, they've outsourced the actual work to someone with the proper space vehicle.
"Astrobotic has full control of the landing site and has been considering an area located in the northeast part of the Moon," said Civeit. The landing side is located in the northeast part of the Moon. It contains a pit that is a compelling exploration target for the mission."
"Steven Jenks told his touching story to Astrobotic as he wanted to have the ashes of his mother delivered to the Moon. Astrobotic does not provide such services to individuals but we were signing our contract with Astrobotic at the time and we were honored to make Steven's wish come true."
"I will know that [my mother] is looking down on my family and maybe they won't feel so alone," Jenks said.