Monday, 31 March 2008

Fly Me to the Moon...

[Photo: NASA]

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...

22 comments:

BEE said...

FIRST!!!

Bee said...

Hmmm... I believe in reencarnation and by that I mean my sould will go into someone new. I don't know how I feel about my dry skin becoming someone else. Would my sould look at them and say "Hey! That's my skin!"

Things to ponder.

Bee said...

uh... "my SOUL"

Brian o Vretanos said...

Well, if you're right about reincarnation there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that people are at all aware of their past lives, and certainly not about their past atoms. Anyway, you haven't much choice but to be recycled - if you're buried you end up in the food chain, and if you're cremated most of your atoms are spewed out of a chimney...

Cheery thoughts ;-)

Bee said...

Now from Scarlett:

"spewed from a chimeney"

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Bee said...

Now from Scarlett:

"spewed from a chimeney"

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Jean Knee said...

get buried under a tree. eat the fruit, voila you're now part of a new person.



although the supernova way sounds more fun

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Okay, so if you could come back as a fruit, what kind would it be?

Tracy said...

You know, you're right. If you're already dead, you have all the time in the world to reach your destination.
I have such trouble talking about what happens after because it kind of terrifies me.
At times I'm convinced that I don't want to be cremated but then I think about bugs eating me. Ick.


Have you heard of the new burials (I think they're in California) where people are being buried in burlap sacks in a forest. No caskets, no waste, and you become plant food.

Dan said...

We were made from stars !!!!
I always prefered the religious angle to how we were made. I'm either going to put my ashes in an hour glass clock thing or getting myself taxidermied.

Tracy said...

My aunt always said that she was going to be taxidermied and put in her will that she wanted to be placed in her bedroom so that she could make sure her husband behaved himself after she was gone.

Jean Knee said...

the kind of fruit that resides in Bedlam

Jean Knee said...

You can get freeze dried and you look absolutely living

Bee said...

But if you come back as a fruit, you'd only be a part of someone until their next couple of bowel movements.

Bee said...

Dan, I volunteer to Taxidermy you!

Brian o Vretanos said...

Dan:

I don't think that the idea of our matter coming from stars contradicts religion, unless you were a fundamentalist.

The hour glass idea is quite a good one. Though it reminds me a bit of "Meet the Parents", where the boyfriend does something that makes the cat jump that knocks over the urn with someone's ashes in them, then something gets spilled, puked or urinated on them - I forget which.

Brian o Vretanos said...

Tracy:

Yes, it's not always easy to think about your own mortality...

Jean Knee:

I suppose a craft-type thing would be to get your ashes moulded into a statue.

They can turn ashes into diamonds, so you could come back as a necklace, or a ring, or some kind of body piercing.

Jean Knee said...

I so want to be a toe ring...

you missed the mummies... on my blog now MUMMIES!!

don't be scared

what's that smell?

Jean Knee said...

I've been giving it some thought and, for a small fee, I will add your ashes to vintage Glitter and use you to decorate crafts

you get to choose the glitter color

I will have to extract bone fragments

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

That's very good of you - I expect you'll charge less than the $10,000 that they'd want to smash my remains into the moon.

Perhaps I'd finally get to be useful.

Jean Knee said...

Brian, I think you'd be lovely sprinkled on a paper mache bunny

I really mean that

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Thankyou. You've made me understand why people want their remains fired into space, out of harm's way...