Funeral Homes and Far Beyond – Memorial Spaceflight

Posted on September 30, 2018 by MayFuneral under Blog Posts
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Funeral Homes and Far Beyond – Memorial Spaceflight

funeral homes and space

 Mankind has always dreamed of venturing to more distant horizons, and no other destination has enraptured our minds quite like outer space. The experience of a complete lack of gravity, the ability to see things that only a handful of individuals have ever been able to witness firsthand, to look down at serene world from hundreds of miles above the chaos. For some, these are among the pinnacles in the essence of adventure. In this modern age of technology, it was inevitable that we would have the opportunity to take that extra step after our brief stay in our funeral homes and be catapulted into the sheer immensity of the universe.

There are a small number of companies that have been able to offer the chance for a truly unique memorial for those who share a profound passion for adventure and exploration. A small portion of the cremated remains of your loved one can be sealed in a small capsule, loaded onto the cargo unit of a rocket bound for the stars and when the time comes, is shot into space.

There are several different options available for your loved one’s final destination. One of these options is just a quick trip into the upper reaches of our atmosphere and includes the safe return journey of the capsule after being exposed to the environment of space, while the rest offer strictly a one way ticket.

There are options for the capsules to enter into an orbit of the Earth where they will eventually reenter the atmosphere and burn up in a shooting star. This is chosen by many family members because they feel it offers a fitting tribute to the life of the man or woman they loved so deeply.

Some companies offer a third and more expensive option which is a one way trip to the moon. While flights to the moon are far more rare and cost a pretty penny more than typical orbital burial, there is something to be said about the possibility of a part of you going to a place where so few have made the journey.

The history of this particular method of funeral preparation is based in science fiction. It was proposed in a 1931 issue of “Amazing Stories”, but it wouldn’t be until 1992 that the first of many space burials would come to pass. In what some might say an obvious turn of events, a small portion of the cremated remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry were launched with space shuttle Columbia on its mission to deploy a satellite.

Less than five years later, a company called Celestis offered this method of burial as legitimate means of interment for small portions of the remains of those wishing to become one of the proud few when their time arrives. Since 1997, Celestis has offered memorial space flights on fourteen missions at the time of this writing, and that number is growing every year.

A voyage to the unknown for one’s final resting place has a certain poetic elegance to it, but to return to the stars from which we were born brings everything full circle. With technology constantly surpassing its bounds, it is inevitable that we will find more creative and unique ways to pay tribute to those we have loved and lost. Funeral rights and techniques will change and adapt, but in the end, what matters is how we remember those to whom we say goodbye.




May & Son funeral home has helped families and loved ones through the grieving process for more than a century. We have locations in Columbia, Boonville, Sedalia and serve the Fayette Missouri area. To find out about how to plan ahead, contact us today.


The funeral business that became H.T. May & Son was founded in Boonville in 1911 by Riley Martin; great-great uncle of Tom May. Following the death of Riley Martin, his nephew; Holwell J. May took over the reins of the business and continued to operate it until his death in 1974. After the death of Holwell, his son H.T. May began to run the business. When H.T. died in 2005, son Thomas E. May began to run the business and is now the fourth generation to operate May Funeral Homes. The newest location, in Columbia, opened in April 2009. Thomas, was married in November 19 of 2011 to Pastor Jennifer Baker. Jennifer is a pre-need specialist for the business and currently pursing her funeral directors license. Thomas also has two sisters; Kathryn May who is a licensed funeral director and Melodia Whitmore. Thomas has three children; Holwell J. May II, who graduated from KCKCC with his Mortuary Science Degree, and is now a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Brittany N. May, and Jeremiah Baker. May and staff are are dedicated to serving families from all ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs in a personalized manner, with knowledgeable, caring, and professional staff.

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