SpaceX is about to launch 152 dead people's remains into orbit aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket

Business Insider | 6/22/2019 | Dave Mosher
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On June 24, SpaceX plans to launch its third Falcon Heavy rocket— the world's most powerful operational launch system — and send 24 different satellites into orbit.

One of the satellites will carry 152 metal capsules packed with human ashes.

Company - Celestis - Flight - Charges - Upwards

A company called Celestis arranged the "funeral flight" and charges upwards of $5,000 to fly 1 gram of "participant" cremains into orbit.

Celestis has arranged the launch of cremains from engineers, astronauts, authors, and a even Star Trek actor.

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SpaceX is gearing up for the third-ever launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket: the world's most powerful operational launch system.

Mission - Space - Test - Program-2 - STP-2

The mission, called Space Test Program-2 (STP-2), is slated to lift off between 11:30 p.m. ET on June 24 and 2:30 a.m. ET on June 25, weather permitting.

When it does, the rocket will propel 24 satellites into orbit around Earth — as well as the ashes of 152 dead people.

Launch - Remains - Company - Celestis - Memorial

The launch of cremated remains is facilitated by a company called Celestis Memorial Spaceflights, which purchases available room on spacecraft, installs a container, then packs it with small metal capsules filled with ashes. It refers to these as " participants."

But for these ashes to enter orbit as intended, SpaceX first has to pull off what Elon Musk, the rocket company's founder, has called "our most difficult launch ever."

Variety - Complexity - Dozen - Satellites - Payloads

The variety and complexity of the two dozen satellites and their payloads is to blame: The various spacecraft have to be deployed into several different orbits using multiple engine burns, according to SpaceX. One of the satellites being launched holds NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, which may change the way robots and astronauts navigate through space. Another has the Planetary Society's LightSail, an experiment that could change how vehicles propel themselves to a destination.

The ash capsules are stowed on the same spacecraft as NASA's...
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