Fad has attracted Star Trek figures and people from nine countries

Christmas is less than 10 weeks away and you’ll be looking for that last minute gift idea? Something different for the person who has everything. What about the gift of space?

It’s the latest fad and its appeal has been out of this world, literally. It could backfire but, what about the gift of a Space Burial?

We’re talking about the launching of cremated remains into outer space being offered by a few companies like Celestis and Elysium Space, writes Dave Reneke from Australasian Science magazine. From all accounts sales have been taking off like a rocket.

Your loved ones’ ashes are sealed in lipstick sized containers inside the spacecraft until it reaches orbit then burns up on re-entry or, if you pay a little bit more, until it escapes the Solar System completely. This service starts around the $2,500 mark. The deep space option is $12,500.

The process is simple and completed with the utmost respect and care. A portion of cremated remains is carefully loaded into the Celestis spacecraft and attached to the launch vehicle. It’s the ultimate post script for the space nerd in your life.

On launch day families gather at the lift-off site to share the experience of seeing their loved ones’ dreams of spaceflight realised. With a roar and a fiery streak across the sky, the rocket lifts its precious load into the peaceful solitude of space.

Memories of the flight participants' lives are shared among friends and family at the pre-launch memorial service and preserved on the keepsake video or DVD included in the service. Afterwards the company provides a professionally produced DVD of the event as a keepsake to be shared among family members.

Sound way out? Sure, but as they say, hold your money – there’s more. Celestis soon expects to be able to send “participants” (as the remains are called) to the surface of the Moon, starting at $9,995.

The dead who have been beamed up include James Doohan, who played Scotty in Star Trek, and the creator of Star Trek himself, Gene Roddenberry. Celestis flights have honoured the lives of people from the US, Japan, Britain, Denmark, The Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, China, and Germany. Would you like to be the first Aussie?