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 Atlantic3 min readPsychology
The Startling Rise of Choking During Sex
There are a lot of emotions commonly associated with sex: love, happiness, excitement, maybe even relaxation. But for many women, one sexual feeling that comes to mind is a darker one: fear. In a recent study, Debby Herbenick, a professor and sex res
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Trump and Kim’s Interactions Aren’t Transactional Anymore
Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang entail the good, the bad, and the ugly of any relationship.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Amazon Ring Will Survive the Anti-surveillance Backlash
People are far more comfortable with surveillance when they think they’re the only ones watching.