Monday, 31 March 2008
Fly Me to the Moon...
If you have ever dreamt of travelling to the moon, then you may get a chance. The only thing you need, apart from enough money to finance the trip, is to die.
Celestis, Inc hopes to begin "moon burials" as early as 2009. They plan to crash spacecraft containing ashes into our nearest celestial neighbour.
Not exactly the most peaceful of ceremonies. Whilst I wouldn't like to criticise anyone's last wishes, I'm really not sure about this. It seems like we're going to start littering the moon with trashed space vehicles. Which might be okay now, but what happens when we start colonizing it? Maybe it won't matter, since the living humans will only occupy a small area, nevertheless it doesn't sound quite right.
I also wonder who would want such a burial. Certainly people who have always wanted to go into space, or to the Moon. Perhaps also people who really hate the thought of their relatives or "loved ones" being anywhere near them, even in death.
I think, though, that there are better places in space to be "interred". If I was contemplating anything like this I'd want to be fired into a large star. It would take the spacecraft perhaps millions of years to reach one, but that doesn't matter when you're dead.
Big stars, unlike our Sun, eventually become supernovas. Their matter is spread into space, and eventually forms into other stars and planets. It is this sort of matter that ultimately formed us - the chemicals necessary for life are only found inside stars, so the only way they get into space is by a supernova.
So there'd be a chance that some of your remains might one day become another form of life.
Now that would be cosmic...