Celestis, Inc. says it did:
- the first ever private launch into outer space (1982),
- the first private, post-cremation memorial spaceflight (1997),
- the first lunar burial (1999)
Its prices range from $12,500, for standard service to put “one gram of cremated remains, first priority, into deep space,” to $40,000 for “preferred services” to put “seven grams of cremated remains, first priority, into deep space.” They currently have the cremated remains of 115 men and 21 women launched or waiting to launch. (Thanks to Sun Cho for doing the count.)
Compared to cryonics, the ashes-into-space industry has over half as many delivered customers, collected in a far shorter time and with far less free publicity. While cryonics is on average more expensive, the cheapest cryonics option, $28,000 via CI, is cheaper than the most expensive ash launch.
While space-ash customers are even more male dominated, and probably just as tech nerdy, my intuition guesses they suffer far less “hostile-wife phenomena” than cryonics. (Will someone please check?) And I’d guess this reduced hostility has much less to do with costs than image – cryonics freaks folks out more. Why?
The obvious explanation is that people think cryonics might actually work – frozen folk might actually live again someday. This is what elicits ghoulish feelings and objections – that cryo wannabes are selfish and arrogant, that it blocks closure, that the future won’t want them, that immortality is immoral, that population is already too large, etc. Since they don’t fear space-ash folks will live again, wives don’t object as much to space-ash plans.
If so, this really is modern male sati – it is the prospect of their husbands living longer than they that most upsets hostile cryo wives.
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