New York State Funeral Directors Association

India’s Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent final resting places you can see on Earth. But I’m fairly certain they’re not taking new reservations for burial there.

Same goes for the massive pyramids in Egypt, if they are, indeed, final resting places.

Those looking to have their remains situated in a unique place may have to consider the Moon as the next best place to go.

What’s more Earth-friendly than sending your remains to an entirely different place?

The Moon is one of the most visible locations a person could choose for a final resting place, and it can be seen from anywhere on the planet, as long as it’s not cloudy out. That gives it a major advantage over places like the Taj Mahal.

You’d have to travel to India to pay your respects to those buried there while looking at their final resting place.

Not so with the moon. You can just look up and pay your respects – though you certainly couldn’t expect to be “close” to your loved one.

People interested in having their cremated remains situated up on the Moon better hurry and make reservations.

The Celestis company is filling slots for its Luna 02 Flight that will leave remains on the Moon. They’re planning for a rocket to lift off late in 2017.

The price for the Luna Service is “starting at $12,500,” according to the website. That’s the same starting price as Celestis’ Voyager Service which will send your remains deep into outer space on a “permanent celestial journey.”

Those prices do make traditional burial look better. But that’s just me.

Celestis offers other options for those interested in embracing outer space as part of their final services.

The company is sending a portion of cremated remains high enough to be considered “in space,” then the remains fall back to Earth and they’re secured and given back to the family.

The price for this slimmed down version of after-death space exploration is “Starting at $1,295” according to the website.

They also offer to send remains into Earth’s orbit with a spacecraft that’s on a mission.

It comes with a nifty option too. Folks can monitor the location of their loved one’s remains right on their computer – they offer live satellite tracking so you can see precisely where your loved one’s ashes are.

Once complete, the spacecraft and remains all burn up during an attempt at re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. This choice starts at $4,995.

There’s an Earth Orbit Mission planned for the Third Quarter of 2017, according to Celestis.

To me, the Luna Service spaceflight is the Celestis company’s greatest offering. The option of sending the cremated remains of a loved one to the surface of the moon just can’t be matched, yet.

I’m guessing options for burial on Mars and other planets are on the horizon.

Moon burial lends itself well to those who would like to gaze at the final resting place of their loved one often. The disadvantage is the fact that it’s actually more than 225,000 miles away.

According to the Celestis website, those whose remains are on board the 2017 Luna 02 Flight will join those of Dr. Eugene Shoemaker once they land.

Cremated remains of this famous scientist were purposely placed onto a NASA spacecraft which, once its mission was completed, was deliberately crashed into the surface of the moon.

This Celestis company has really grown into more than a space exploration company since it got its start in the 1990s.

Now, they’re offering discounted rates for those who want to plan their service in advance, and they also offer reduced prices for Veterans.

For those who are happy to leave the bulk of their “payload” on planet Earth, the company also offers a DNA option.

You can send in a sample of your DNA on a swab and have it processed and launched into space while you’re still alive.

Keepsakes, launch site tours, dinner and other features are available in these packages, too. And, they offer veteran discounts and discounts for those looking to set up these plans in advance.

It all sounds a lot like what funeral directors do - but without all the government regulations.

Myself, I think I’ll just stick around down here on Earth for a traditional burial.

EdsPhotoEdward Munger Jr.
Communications & Social Media Specialist
NYS Funeral Directors Association