James Eberling had always been a missile and rocket enthusiast. So when the 36-year-old died in November 2016, his family wanted to do all they could to grant Eberling’s final wish: having his remains launched into space.
Eberling’s family contacted space burial company Elysium Space to make his dream come true, according to CNN. Now, Eberling is among 100 people whose cremated remains will be launched into orbit aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket.
“We’re overjoyed to be able to grant him his final wish,” Eberling’s mother, Beverly told CNN. “It means a lot to my husband and myself that we’re able to do this for him. I think James is very, very happy to finally see that this is going to finally take place.”
Families paid about $2,500 to have a portion of their loved ones’ ashes put in a 4-inch square satellite called a CubeSat which will be tucked into the the Elysium Star II memorial spacecraft and launched aboard the rocket, the company announced in a statement.
Among the 100 are U.S. military vets, aerospace enthusiasts and “families looking to celebrate a loved one within the poetry of the starry sky.” Families can watch the event at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California.
“We are honored to assist families in achieving their dreams, riding on one of the greatest rocket (sic) in the world,” Thomas Civeit, founder and CEO of Elysium Space, said in the statement. “This historical launch provides the perfect conditions to make this memorial spaceflight an exceptionally meaningful experience for all participants.”
After their launch, the satellites carrying the remains will remain in orbit for about two years, passing over every location in the world, before returning to earth’s atmosphere as a shooting star, according to the statement.
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Family and friends can watch their loved one’s journey in real time though a mobile app.
Although the launch was initially set for Nov. 19, it has been delayed. It is unclear when the mission will take place.
Still, Eberling’s family said they’re just happy Eberling will get his wish, CNN reported. The small capsule containing his ashes is engraved with his initials, and the family attached a message: “James, you were a grounded Eagle on Earth — may you now soar thru the Heavens.”