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American company offers Japanese clients space burial

October 01, 2013, 18:05 UTC+3
One last orbital trip costs ten times less than a cemetery plot
1 pages in this article
Photo ITAR-TASS/ EPA/ TATYANA ZENKOVICH

Photo ITAR-TASS/ EPA/ TATYANA ZENKOVICH

TOKYO, October 1. (Itar-Tass) – Japan is known for its extremely expensive land. As such, traditional burials have become a thing of the past – only the wealthiest can afford to be put into ground. This forces Japanese residents to seek alternative funeral methods. One such alternative method is offered by an American company Elysium Space Inc. Instead of conducting a Buddhist funeral, the company offers families and close ones to send off ashes of the recently deceased into space. One gram of ashes is placed in an aluminum capsule, which is then launched to around Earth; throughout its travels its position can be tracked by a special mobile app. In a few months orbital decay leads to the capsule re-entering the atmosphere. As the company describes, “eventually, in a last poetic moment, the spacecraft harmlessly reenters the Earth's atmosphere, blazing as a shooting star.” The whole package costs around $2000 – ten times as little as a cemetery plot and a tombstone. One rocket is capable of sending 100 to 400 capsules to Earth’s orbit. As the average age of the Japanese population increases, the funeral market is growing, thus American entrepreneurs have reason to believe their space burial services will gain popularity.

 

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