The remains of four dead US presidents set to be blasted into space

It is hoped that the story of America will be preserved in deep space.
Ameya Paleja
Four U.S. presidents are set to have space memorials
Four U.S. presidents are set to have space memorials


Celestis, a U.S.-based company known for launching memorial space flights, now plans to send remains of four dead U.S. presidents to the farthest outpost in deep space. The mission is due for launch later this year, a press release said.

Strange as it may sound, Celestis isn't some new-age startup trying to grab eyeballs with such an announcement. Instead, the company has existed for over two decades and, as per its website, was even picked by NASA to honor one of its scientists. This time around, instead of launching and returning objects in Earth or Moon orbit, the company is venturing deeper into space and further than the James Webb Space Telescope too.

Blasting off ex-Presidents into space

The ex-Presidents are soon set to become a part of Celestis Enterprise Flight, which aims to send a personal flight capsule far beyond the Earth-Moon system, where it will join other planets, moons, asteroids, and comets in our solar system on a "never-ending journey through the cosmos," the company says on its webpage.

Scheduled for launch on a United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, later this year, the mission will complete its burn phase and then be referred to as Enterprise Station, the most distant human outpost where it will orbit the Sun at a distance of 150-300 million miles.

Celestis plans to make Enterprise a human repository too by adding remains of four ex-Presidents, namely, George Washington, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, to tell future civilizations about bygone American leaders and culture, the press release adds.

How will this work?

If you are wondering whether the idea truly makes sense, then you are not alone. Even the team at Celestis seems to have their own doubts and has therefore offered a rather long and winding explanation. Sifting through it all, we found three letters that somewhat made sense, DNA.

The remains of four dead US presidents set to be blasted into space
DNA, the genetic material in most living cells

Short for deoxyribose nucleic acid, DNA has been a key element in helping us understand our past and how we evolved. Last year, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was also awarded to a geneticist who helped understand our links with Neanderthals and how genes flowed to modern-day humans due to migrations that happened 70,000 years ago.

Additionally, DNA is also being explored as a data storage solution since it can be preserved in space for thousands of years without any degradation and could be used as a cosmic time capsule to learn more about the past.

Celestis is hopeful that the technology available to future generations will not only be able to read the DNA but also extract information about humanity and learn about the personalities to whom they belong to. Apart from hair samples of U.S. Presidents who have long passed away, the company is also sending samples and DNA of the iconic Star Trek franchise, such as Gene Roddenberry, his wife, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, son Eugene, and some members of the cast.