SpaceX prepares for the launch of its third Falcon Heavy rocket, this time loaded with 24 satellites and more unusual cargo – nothing but remains of humans.
The "funeral flight" is scheduled for late Monday, June 24, and will transport containers of the cremated remains of 152 people into orbit.
The "Cremains" are stored the Falcon Heavy by a company called Celestis Memorial Spaceflights. The company buys space available for spacecraft and packs it with tiny metal capsules filled with people's ashes – all for the not-so-modest $ 5,000 a gram.
Satellites carried by the Falcon Heavy and hovering in orbit as long as the satellite is operating.
Each capsule has a gravestone-like inscription containing terms such as "Griffins nach die Sternen!" . and "Space Truckin 'Forever".
The Falcon Heavy flight is not the first time that human "cremains" have been sent into space. Celestis has been operating since 1994 and has flown its ash-filled capsules on 15 different rockets: eight sub-orbital flights, six into orbit and even one to the Moon. Among the best-known cremains of the company were those of the late Star Trek actor James Doohan, who died in 2005. In addition to orbital flights, the company also enables the transport of ashes into space. However, the cost starts at $ 12,500 per gram.
In order for the Cremains to go into orbit, the rocket company must first grapple with what Elon Musk, the Founder of SpaceX, has called "our" difficult launch of all time. This may be due to the particularities of the satellites the Falcon Heavy will carry and their cargo. One of them is NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, which aims to change space navigation techniques.
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