Space

Mesoloft will scatter your ashes from the edge of space

Mesoloft will scatter your ash...
A view of Mesoloft-transported cremains being released 20 miles above the Earth's surface
A view of Mesoloft-transported cremains being released 20 miles above the Earth's surface
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A view of Mesoloft-transported cremains being released 20 miles above the Earth's surface
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A view of Mesoloft-transported cremains being released 20 miles above the Earth's surface
Mesoloft launching its special weather balloon, to release the ashes of a lost loved one
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Mesoloft launching its special weather balloon, to release the ashes of a lost loved one

Some people choose to honor the memory of a lost loved one by doing something creative with their ashes. What's more creative than taking their remains to the very top of the Earth's atmosphere and releasing them? That's what Mesoloft is offering to those who want to say goodbye in a way that no one will ever forget.

Mesoloft is taking remains to an altitude of 20 miles (32.2 km), which is a part of the stratosphere called Near Space. That's about three times higher than the cruising altitude of an average commercial jet. Going into orbit requires an altitude of about 62 miles (100 km), just to give a little perspective as to where a loved one's ashes are going.

At this height, Mesoloft co-founder Chris Winfield says that the released ashes travel around in the atmosphere before eventually making their way back to Earth in rain or snow.

The ashes are carried up on a custom weather balloon with a container that has a trap door. GoPro cameras are also mounted to the device, allowing family members to see the ashes being released. GPS trackers are in use, and the paying family is given live access so they can track the ashes as they make their journey to the edge of space.

Mesoloft launching its special weather balloon, to release the ashes of a lost loved one
Mesoloft launching its special weather balloon, to release the ashes of a lost loved one

As for any sanitary concerns, the team addresses that on its website: "In 1997 the EPA determined that aerial ash scattering was safe and has no significant effect on the environment. Since cremation occurs at a very high temperature, the resulting purified ashes are sterile and quite safe."

Mesoloft is offering two different packages, and neither are cheap. The standard launch package, which includes a launch and release, a video of the process, and book will set loved ones back US$2,800. A destination option, which includes the same items but at the location of the loved one's choosing, goes for $7,500.

The video below shows some of the process and provides some more information.

Source: Mesoloft via CNET

Mesoloft

5 comments
zevulon
before everyone freaks out that this coudl be used to spread ebola or disease, remember that there are much easier and MUCH more effective ways of doing that.
this would just succeed in making it more difficult to spread diseases. high altitudes have ozone AND high UV exposure and then fierce whipping and freezing winds which both dessicate, and then remoisturize the vector----- all of these influences which would degrade any light weight vectors that could hitch a ride on jetstreams.
so don't think about ebola. ebola.
christopher
No thanks. Plant me. I want to waste the most amount of space for the longest amount of time possible, and annoy as many future folks as I can by having my "sacred" bones stuck somewhere physical for them to have to deal with!
Michael Flower
Great, that all we need another orbital space debris field. With 8,000 known object in Low, Medium and High Orbit. You want too add more JUNK to the Obstacle Course?
Miguel Cazares
The downside is when the time comes for the resurrection, a window will pop up with a error message, unable to download due to missing links.
Stradric
To each their own, but I find this sort of thing very silly because dead people don't care about their ashes. They're dead. They don't care about anything anymore. This is just meaningless.
If you want to be meaningful, dispose of the body in the soil to provide chemical energy to microorganisms, plants and animals. Make them live on by being part of the cycle of life. Burning them up and sending their ashes into the upper atmosphere does nothing for anyone.