New York State Funeral Directors Association

A renewed push to send people further out into space is making for exciting times for lovers of modern science.

Thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, these exciting times are also giving people of modest means the chance to leave their legacy in space.

For those with plenty of money – or a diehard dedication to space exploration – a mere $12,500 will get cremated remains aboard the Celestis Memorial Spaceflights’ Enterprise Flight.

This spacecraft will be orbiting the sun permanently, so those with the money might take pleasure in knowing their remains will be floating around their home planet, pretty much forever.

View of a "Boarding Pass" Provided by NASA

But that’s a lot of money.

For me, it would be satisfying enough just to get my name out there in space.

And I’m doing just that, thanks to NASA.

My name will be joining others aboard the InSight Lander that will carry scientific instruments to the Red Planet, Mars, in 2018.

It won’t be my ashes, just my name. 

But the idea that somebody with three green fingers might read my name a couple thousand years from now gives me the sense that my name will live on.

The InSight Mission was booked up for new names when I checked last – but that doesn’t mean the chances are over.

According to the NASA website, a total of 2,429,807 people got their names on microchips on the InSight which, at the time of this writing, was tentatively scheduled to launch in May and land on Mars in November of 2018.

In fact, NASA is expecting to present more similar opportunities in the future, and all you have to do to learn about them is sign up for a notification.

You’ll see in the link that this particular mission isn’t taking any more names – but there’s a sign-up box for future missions and all you need to do is enter your e-mail to get a notification when the chance surfaces again.

If you’re not as selfish as I am, you could also consider this as an opportunity to memorialize a loved one.

You could put their name on one of these sign-ups and then download a copy of their “Boarding Pass,” perhaps as a gift to their family members, or as a keepsake for yourself.

There’s another opportunity to get a name out in space, too, under a short window of time.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is headed to the sun, obviously, and people are being offered the chance to get their name on a memory card being placed in this spacecraft.

NASA image of "hot ticket" promotion to get your name in the Parker Solar ProbeAccording to the website, names are being accepted until April 27, 2018.

I suppose this one will leave less of an opportunity for one’s name to be seen in the future, since it’s going to the sun – not exactly a hospitable place for … anything, by the looks of NASA’s wording on the Hot Ticket:

“Come with us as we plunge through the Sun's atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions—and ultimately providing humanity with the first-ever close-up view of a star.”

If it gets too close, it’ll just burn up in a poof, I guess.

But it is expected to stay quite a ways away – 3.83 million miles from the sun, traveling about 125 miles per-second.

So the craft – and the names of many – will be up there for a long, long time.

If all goes well, the Parker Solar Probe will launch from Cape Canaveral on July 31, 2018 and make a total of 24 orbits around the sun, flying close to Venus for “gravity assist.”

It will take this craft around 88 days to orbit the big, yellow ball in the sky.

You can read more about our first solar probe, and the opportunity to have a name live on out in space, at this link: http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/The-Mission/index.php#Journey-to-the-Sun


 

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