The Atlantic

Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

Delivering cremated remains to the stratosphere joins a growing list of new ways to memorialize the dead.
Source: JSC / NASA

Mark Harris says funeral directors talk about it all the time. More and more people are growing tired of traditional funeral services and opting for something a little more creative. “It’s getting more difficult to offer the cookie-cutter send-off,” explains Harris, the author of Grave Matters, which examines how people have started to think, er, outside the box about death.

And so, Harris wasn’t surprised to hear that a new British company is offering to send cremated remains to the stratosphere. High-altitude on its website. “We are all made of stardust.” The stratosphere is not technically space, but for their purposes, it’s close enough.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min read
Americans Are Suckers for a Certain Kind of Grifter
For a time, Michael Avenatti fulfilled the left’s most destructive psychological needs—much as Donald Trump has done for the right.
The Atlantic8 min read
How High Maintenance Creates Ethical Tension
As the highbrow salad chains that have gobbled up Manhattan pursue the exclusionary dream of a cashless society, TV’s loveliest vision of New York City still indulges the romance of little green bills. In the second episode of the fourth season of Hi
The Atlantic5 min read
The Story The Pharmacist Can’t Tell
The new Netflix series attempts to contain the sprawling opioid epidemic within the conventions of true crime.