Celestis, a private company that specializes in "memorial spaceflights," arranged for the ashes of more than 100 people to fly with one of the payloads in Falcon Heavy's school bus-sized fairing. Each person's remains are secured in small, coin-sized capsules that are arranged in a row on a partnering spacecraft.
General Atomics will host the ashes on its Orbital Test Bed, a satellite that will function as a platform for multiple space technology demonstrations including NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, which the agency hopes will improve space-based timing and navigation. Sharing capacity on platforms like these brings down costs and allows for greater access to organizations wanting on-orbit tests without having to launch independently.
Monday's mission for Celestis is known as its "Heritage Flight," though the company has previously launched ashes on Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets from several sites. Some of its high-profile flights included the ashes of James Doohan, or "Scotty" from "Star Trek;" NASA astronaut William Pogue, who commanded the last Skylab mission; and Eugene Shoemaker, a renowned planetary scientist who co-discovered Comet Shoemaker–Levy.
"As spaceflight turned from concept into reality, it was inevitable that Memorial Spaceflights would become an integral part of the space age," the company says on its website. Its services range from $2,500 per sample to $12,500, depending on whether or not the ashes will descend back to Earth, stay in orbit, or escape the planet's influence altogether.
More info on Celestis.com
This article originally appeared of FloridaToday.com