Space Burial

Launching cremated ashes can be profitable at current launch prices. Potentially a noticeable market even at a small share of the funeral market--there are about 10 million cremations per year, just in 12 or so industrialized nations (CSTS, section, page 387). So if space burial captures 1% of these cremations (Celestis' goal, from "Celestis on Track for First Memorial Launch," Spaceviews Update, 15 May 1996), at the current price of $4800 (from the same article), then revenues would be $480 million/year and mass to orbit something like 1400 kg/year (assuming the Celestis capsule containing 7g of ashes, 7g for the capsule itself, an unknown but seemingly small mass for the structures supporting the capsules, and a low earth orbit).

Celestis is the only company currently in this business. See their web page.

History of space burial:

This page is part of Jim Kingdon's space markets page.