It’s quite expensive get a person up into the Earth’s orbit. For the National Aeronautics and Space administration (NASA), it’s VERY expensive. They pay the Russian space agency about $70.6 million per astronaut to ferry them to the International Space Station (ISS). That’s more than World-Hopper passes for a family of four to the Disney World resorts.
But, there is a way to get to space relatively cheaply, if you don’t mind doing it while dead. And it would only be a piece of you. Celestis Memorial Spaceflights seems to have every option covered for the dead to fly into space. By dead, they mean the cremated remains of loved ones who longed to ride into space. The maximum amount of remains the company seems willing to help get into space looks to be 7 grams. But they will also launch as little as 1 gram into space. They do this using specialized modules and capsules that are all packed in a cannister (their spelling).
There are different levels of spaceflight available with different prices associated for each level. The more weight, and the further the spaceflight, the more expensive it becomes. For as little as $995, some of the cremated remains of a loved one can be shot into space, be in space for about 6.5 minutes, then return to the Earth. Then Celestis gives back the remains, plus a video and Launch Certificate. But you can also choose for the remains to orbit the Earth, be shot to the moon, or go on an unending space voyage. Each one gets more expensive. And for pet lovers, Celestis offers packages to send cremated pet remains into space–just go to the Celestis Pets site.
For those who wonder if these capsules and modules contribute to the space junk problem around the Earth, Celestis says “no” in their FAQ. They even get Federal Aviation Administration verification certificates stating the Celestis payloads won’t “junk up” the Earth’s orbit.
They’re scheduled to launch their Conestoga Flight for customers of the “Earth Rise” package on October 7, 2014. The time to make a reservation for a capsule or module on that flight ends on the 29th of August. If something goes wrong during launch, they do offer a “re-do” for customers at no additional cost to the customer.
But, while it might cost more than those World Hopper passes, it still costs less than a seat on a Soyuz, and if you really want a loved one to achieve the dream of getting into space, this might be an interesting option.