The ashes of space activist Vanna Bonta were launched into Earth orbit today on Spaceflight’s SSO-A mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of the Elysium Space Shooting Star II Memorial.
Vanna was a multi-talented creative force and passionate advocate for the New Space community. She was a Space Frontier Foundation Advocate and a founder along with her rocket engineer husband of Team BonNova which competed in the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.
As a film actress she appeared on screen and in voice in over 100 movies. Her novel Flight coined the genre of Quantum Fiction. Several of her volumes of poetry were published in English, Italian, and Japanese. Her haiku to the spacecraft MAVEN was among the top three selected to travel to Mars.
Vanna’s orbiting urn is engraved with the title of her poem “Entanglement in the Continuum” which is also inscribed on her wedding ring. She was featured in the History Channel documentary “Sex in Space” where she tested her invention of the 2Suit with her husband on the zero-G 727 jet G-Force One. Vanna also composed and produced a music video homage to humanity’s quest for flight and space called What Goes Up.
The Elysium Shooting Star II satellite is in sun synchronous orbit and can be tracked at the Elysium web site.
SAN FRANCISCO (Elysium Space PR) – The pioneering company in memorial spaceflight, Elysium Space, is announcing today that its Elysium Star II memorial spacecraft will be on Spaceflight’s SSO-A dedicated rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
It looks like space memorial service Celestis is getting some competition.
A new memorial service called Elysium Space is offering to send the ashes of your loved ones into orbit for $1,990 — less than half the $4,995 that Celestis is charging for a similar service.
Elysium’s website says that the first memorial flight is set to take off next summer as a secondary payload to a much larger spacecraft. The Elysium spacecraft is expected to stay in orbit from several months to a couple of years before re-entering the atmosphere. The company doesn’t indicate which launch providers it will be contracting with for flight services.
The company was founded by Thomas Civeit, whom the website describes as having had “extensive experience in space mission operations at NASA, notably including the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Huygens interplanetary probe. He received multiple NASA awards for his work.”