Space Burials a Bargain for Japanese

Source: Elysium Space Inc. via Bloomberg

A screenshot of an Elysium Space Inc. mobile application shows the Elysium satellite, in this handout illustration released to the media on Oct. 1, 2013. Close

A screenshot of an Elysium Space Inc. mobile application shows the Elysium satellite,... Read More

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Source: Elysium Space Inc. via Bloomberg

A screenshot of an Elysium Space Inc. mobile application shows the Elysium satellite, in this handout illustration released to the media on Oct. 1, 2013.

Space … the Final Frontier. And now you can be buried out in the black cheaper than down on Earth, especially if you’re from Japan.

For $1,990, Elysium Space Inc. is offering a service in Japan to send a portion of a person’s cremated remains in a capsule that will circle the earth for several months. That compares to the roughly $27,400 (2.7 million yen) cost of renting a burial plot and buying a tomb stone in Tokyo.

Relatives and friends can track the spacecraft’s trajectory on a mobile phone app. Like a meteorite, the remains disintegrate upon reentering the earth’s atmosphere, “blazing as a shooting star,” Elysium says.

About one gram (0.035 oz) of a person’s remains are placed into an individual “space-grade” aluminum container and missions will carry between 100 to 400 individual capsules.

The service will give a new option for Japanese looking to reduce the size and expense of funerals as relatives become fewer and traditional ties weaken in one of the world’s fastest aging societies.

Elysium Space began taking U.S. space burial reservations in the U.S. in August. The San Francisco company’s first launch is scheduled for next summer.

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