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UK company launches first extra-terrestrial funerals
UK company launches first extra-terrestrial funerals

UK company launches first extra-terrestrial funerals

Families will soon be able to send their loves ones into the great beyond for a final goodbye after a British company invented an orbital ash-scattering service.

Ascension Flight will also film the ashes exploding against the curvature of the Earth for posterity.

The new ritual, offered by Ascension Flights, costs families £795 for the flight, which is also available for pets.

Relatives can attend take-off and track the balloon’s progress online, while the scattering is filmed on a HD camera.

The footage is available as a keepsake.

All flights are authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority, which provides a launch window and warns nearby pilots.

Launches take place at the company’s South Yorkshire base, but can be held elsewhere for a higher fee.

Ascension, formed by two ex-University of Sheffield engineering students and featured on TV’s Dragons’ Den, has been developing the technology for five years.

Co-founder Dr Chris Rose said they perfected the scattering technique with synthetic ash, to ensure it spreads evenly.

They have already sent teddies, books, breakfast cereal, alcohol and a cricket ball into space on the re-usable balloon.

Chris said: “Many of the first generation of space fans will never experience space flight.

“Our new service enables families the opportunity to fulfil their loved ones’ dreams.

“We feel it’s the ultimate send-off for a life well lived.

“Fundamentally, we are all stardust, so this feels like a fitting tribute to those of us who have lived through the prologue to the space age.”

The company is already in talks with some funeral directors in the UK and the first flight, aboard the purpose-built Ascension 1 craft, is scheduled to take place in November.


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