DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The ashes of a Dayton man are going up into space, and he will be alongside the remains of several big names, including the creator of Star Trek and three U.S. presidents.
The company behind Flight Enterprise is called Celestis, and they have been sending human remains into orbit for the past 25 years.
Flight Enterprise is unique because it is the first time the company behind these memorial flights has ever sent a rocket into deep space.
For Sharon Rab, it’s special because of how perfectly it honors her late husband’s life.
Sharon lost her husband of 45 years, Larry ‘Thor’ Rab, earlier this year. She said her husband was interested in science fiction, reading and was a walking encyclopedia. So, when she was looking at her options for how to celebrate his life and learned about the chance to send him to space, she knew that was the way to go.
“I thought this is perfect,” Sharon said. “He has an identical twin who was with me at the time that I was planning it. I looked at Paul and I said, what do you think? And he said, he would love this.”
Sharon says her husband was a true lover of adventure, and their first argument was because he said he would leave everything behind just to go to space. After laughing about the situation for the past 45 years, she gets to make it a reality.
“I’m very happy about it,” Sharon said. “It seems like in a way, our our life came full circle with that decision.”
Celestis has sent more than 2,000 people into orbit, and in December of this year, they’re expected to send 200 more on the United League Alliance’s Vulcan rocket.
Some of the names aboard the launch include the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, and his wife Majel Barrett, along with three U.S. presidents — John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and George Washington.
The president of Celestis, Colby Youngblood, said this unique experience is more than it may seem.
“It’s a long journey, and it’s hard,” he said. “They go through all the stages of grief, all the way from when they first call us, and they’re upset because their loved one just passed away, all the way to the excitement of seeing their loved one reaching that goal of going to space. It’s a journey, and we get to hold their hand all the way through that.”
The Enterprise Flight will first go to the moon before it goes into deep space, and then it will go into orbit around the sun, never to return to earth.
As Sharon, looks forward to the launch later this year, she is hopeful this will keep her husband’s legacy alive.
“It’s going to be a tribute, a tribute to a person who really loved life.”
The Enterprise Flight is scheduled for December of this year. More information about Celestis and future launches can be found here.