What better way to say goodbye to your loved ones than to blast their remains into space, where they orbit the planet before re-entering the atmosphere, burning up as a fiery shooting star? Space burials have been around for more than a decade, but a company called Elysium Space wants to bring them mass-market, with a $1,990 price tag and dedicated iPhone and Android apps for following the voyage.
After you place your order, Elysium sends you a capsule to fill with a small sample of the deceased’s creamted ash. The company then takes that capsule and places it inside the next available spacecraft, the first of which is scheduled for summer 2014. Of course, space launches get delayed all the time, but Elysium says that its vehicle will simply get bumped to the next available flight, at no extra cost to you. The orbit itself can last months or even years, although the company says it's fulfilled its end of the deal if you get one complete revolution around the Earth.
Elysium isn’t the only game in town — competitor Celestis offers a comparable earth orbit service for $4,995, as well as launches to the moon or deep space for $12,500. Either way, it’s still cheaper than sending someone into space while he or she is alive: a ticket aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo will set you back $250,000.