Date: Fri, 13 Oct 95 15:43:38 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: WhiteBoardness 10/6/95
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for October 06, 1995
Washington, District of Columbia:
If your idea of going to heaven includes being lifted into the heavens, you
may get your final wish. For $4,800 "a symbolic portion" of your cremated
remains could be launched into orbit.
Some people's ashes may even get aboard "the Celestial Founders Flight" some
time next year.
Celestis Incorporated, of Houston, announced Monday it has contracted with
Orbital Sciences Corporation to use the empty cargo space on that firm's
Pegasus and Taurus launch vehicles, which rocket into orbit after release
from under the wing of a jet.
Celestis said the plan now is for the cosmic mausoleum to reenter the
atmosphere in one to 10 years, where it "harmlessly vaporizes, blazing like
a shooting star in final tribute." That addresses concerns that all those
loved ones whirling around Earth could become a debris hazard for
Charles Chafer, a vice president of Celestis Inc., said "many people see
this as an appropriate way to express their interest in space. It is on
par with the cost of a funeral." The Founders Flight will carry the ashes
of "several noted space and science fiction pioneers."
There is one precedent for that.
With no public notice, the ashes of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry
were carried aboard space shuttle Columbia in 1992 and then returned to
© 1995 Peter Langston