(ABC4) — An American company that launches ‘memorial spaceflights‘, announced they will be sending DNA samples of four dead US presidents to deep space.
The company Celestis conducts ‘memorial spaceflights,’ which their website defines as launching a portion of a person’s cremated remains into space, in one of four orbits. The four orbits are ‘Earth Rise,’ ‘Earth Orbit,’ ‘Luna,’ and ‘Voyager.‘
In a blog post by Celestis, they announced they would be launching the DNA of former US presidents, George Washington, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Dwight D. Eisenhower into a Voyager orbit on the Enterprise Flight, to establish the ‘first human outpost in deep space.’
And according to Celestis, sending the entire human genome (DNA) 150 to 300 million miles beyond the Earth-Moon system may provide Celestis with ‘possible discoveries.’ They said it also provides a way to store genetics, and data off-world.
According to the blog post, “DNA can archive a staggering amount of information in an almost inconceivably small volume,” and sending DNA off-world provides a way for future human civilizations that may settle in deep space a way to discover what life was like on Earth when the US was formed.
Off-world DNA storage allows DNA to be preserved for thousands of years in space without degradation, the post stated. Celestes said this means it is possible it could be discovered later, like a “cosmic time capsule.” They said they preserve the entire human genome as a powder, and then transfer it to a Titanium 5 capsule ‘resistant to the extremes of deep space,’ such as cold, heat, and radiation, before sending it into space.
Celestis said the Enterprise Flight is due to launch in 2023 and will orbit somewhere between 150-300 million miles in deep space. Upon completion of its orbit, and when the engines burn out, the Enterprise Flight will become Enterprise Station.
Enterprise Flight will also carry Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife and “First Lady of Star Trek” Majel Roddenberry, and the DNA of their son Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry.
Celestis said Enterprise Flight will also contain the DNA of Star Trek‘s Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Uhura, as well as her son Kyle Johnson. It will also carry the DNA of “Dr. McCoy“ DeForest Kelley, and the ashes of “Mr. Scott” James Doohan. Celestis said it is the ultimate Star Trek series reunion.
In addition, the flight will include the DNA of former NASA astronaut Dr. Philip Chapman. This will make Chapman’s second spaceflight, as some of his DNA was flown aboard Celestis’ Earth Rise Aurora Flight mission.