Elysium's ambitions also extend beyond the solar system. The company hopes to offer a "Milky Way Memorial" by year-end that will see human remains sent into deep space, "leaving the solar system to traverse the infinite universe." An exact launch date and price for the service are yet to be set.
In addition, the company has been soliciting reservations for its $1,990 "Shooting Star memorial" since 2013. This will launch its first 100 ash capsules into space later this Fall and hopes to send a second batch by year-end. These capsules will orbit the earth for several months before falling back to earth and burning up through the atmosphere—like shooting stars.
The Shooting Star service is far cheaper than the Lunar Memorial, with Civeit describing the former as "within reach of most families." The average cost of an adult funeral in the U.S is $7,000, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
"People often think about technology when they think about space. However, space has other inherent values, like the beauty of the night sky, which can be used to create poetic memorial services," Civeit said.
"The idea that humankind can look up at the Moon and poetically commune with its ancestors is probably as old as the human culture itself."