Grieving family members and relatives will be able to send their loved ones’ ashes into lunar orbit or even to the surface under an agreement between Celestis and Odyssey Moon.
The agreement provides Houston-based Celestis with payload space aboard Odyssey Moon’s planned lunar landers and orbiters. Ashes will be contained in small individual canisters in a payload module.
Odyssey Moon, based in the Isle of Man, was founded last year. The company is competing in the Google Lunar X Prize to land a rover on the moon, but it also plans to launch of series of lunar landers and orbiters.
“The thrill and joy Celestis provides touched me personally when my dear friend and International Space University co-founder Todd Hawley reached his dream of spaceflight in 1997,” said Dr. Robert Richards, CEO of Odyssey Moon. “We welcome the opportunity to support Celestis and continue their uniquely compelling service to the Moon.”
Hawley’s ashes were aboard Celestis’ first flight. The company also assisted NASA in placing the ashes of Dr. Eugene Shoemaker aboard the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. Controllers intentionally crashed the orbiter at the lunar south pole when its mission ended on July 31, 1999.