Fly Me (or My Body) to the Moon

As Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins rocket company and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic enterprises rush to perfect rockets for launching tourists into subspace at insane prices only the very rich can afford, a company called Elysium Space is gearing up to launch you off the planet Earth for about a 20th as much.

About 600 people have put down a deposit against a $200,000 ticket from Virgin Galactic on Branson’s SpaceShipTwo for a trip into near space (62 miles or so up, where the sky is black and the Earth is small, but you’re at best only on the edge of where space begins). Although no customers have made the trip yet, partly because SpaceShipTwo crashed last year, Branson has raised the price of the ticket to $250,000.

Bezos is developing his rocket in intense secrecy, but it will compete with Branson for space tourism. His nose cone capsule is designed to carry three or more people to that magical 100-kilometer altitude.

But if you really want to get into space for much less, you should consider Elysium Space Inc. It is offering to send you where the stars shine brighter for as little as $12,500. Yes, there’s a catch. You have to be dead. Elysium offers three services: the Shooting Star Memorial, the Lunar Memorial and the Milky Way Memorial. It all depends how far you want to go.

The Shooting Star Memorial will send your cremated remains into Earth orbit, where the orbit will eventually, uh, decay, and you will become a shower of shooting stars. The Lunar Memorial will get your ashes to the moon, and the Milky Way service will send your leftovers far into deep space.

Elysium intends to contract with established launch companies like United Launch Alliance, Orbital ATK, SpaceX and others to put your vial of remains on a rocket as secondary cargo.

The company says its first service — a Shooting Star Memorial — is fully booked for late 2015, but a second launch also scheduled for later this year still has some room available. No Lunar or Milky Way flights are scheduled yet.

You can obtain membership in Elysium’s “club” for free by visiting their website at Elysiumspace.com. And if you’re wondering why anyone would want to do this, Elysium offers this thought: “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.” Unless, of course, they’ve already burned up in the atmosphere.

To your health and wealth,

Stephen Petranek
for The Daily Reckoning

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