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Navajo Say Human Cremains On The Moon Is 'Desecration'

The Navajo Nation, has raised concerns over the intention of placing human cremated remains on a lunar lander vehicle. They describe this mission as a "desecration" of the Moon which holds a sacred place in their culture.


(Peregrine Mission 1)

On January 8, Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic's Peregrine lander is set to hitch a ride on a giant United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket making its maiden voyage under a NASA commercial partnership aimed at saving the US space agency money.

Peregrine's scientific instruments will probe for lunar surface radiation, helping NASA better prepare for crewed missions going there later this decade under the Artemis program.

But the boxy robot's manifest also includes payloads from two companies—Elysium Space and Celestis—that will contain cremated remains and DNA to stay on the Moon, inside the lander, forever.

While Elysium hasn't offered details, Celestis has 69 individual "participants" including late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke, and a dog named Indica-Noodle Fabiano.

Customers paid prices starting at $12,995, according to the company's website.

(Via PhysOrg.)

In his 1966 novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, science fiction Grandmaster Robert Heinlein describes what must inevitably happen when the Moon is colonized:

Like all loonies, we conserve our dead and am truly glad the barbaric custom of burial was left back on old Earth; our way is better. But Davis family does not put that which comes out of processor into our commercial farming tunnels. No. It goes into our little greenhouse tunnel, there to become roses and daffodils and peonies among soft-singing bees. Tradition says that Black Jack Davis is in there, or whatever atoms of him do remain after many, many years of blooming.
(Read more about the Lunar Greenhouse Tunnel)

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Navajo Say Human Cremains On The Moon Is 'Desecration'
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