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I understand a very small part of space burials are going into deep space.

And a good part of them go into suborbital flights.

But are there any space burials sent to graveyard orbits?

Are any space burials being put into geocentric orbit?

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    $\begingroup$ I ask myself: is this a pun or a seroius question? $\endgroup$ – CallMeTom Sep 2 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like a pun yes. But many ashes were launched in suborbital space. So I would like to know if any ashes were sent to stay in orbit a long time $\endgroup$ – Joe Jobs Sep 2 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ 1. To my knowledge, no. 2. Please don't. $\endgroup$ – Tristan Sep 2 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ This is a good question. Maybe could be made more general: are any space burials being put into geocentric orbit (rather than heliocentric orbit or just taking a suborbital ride)? Graveyard orbits typically exist only relative to a particular operational orbit. The GEO graveyard is different from the GPS graveyard, etc... $\endgroup$ – Anton Hengst Sep 2 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ It would be a genuine dis-service to mankind send ashes to space, increasing the space debris issue and increasing risk of satellite degradation. Most people who might be suitable for such an honour (if you want to call it like that) might not want it for that very reason as they care(d) about Earth and mankind. $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Sep 2 at 18:14
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To my knowledge, ashes going to space fall under one of two categories.

  1. They are attached to the upper stage as some kind of ballast.
  2. They are connected to satellites that serve some other purpose.

So there is no specifically free-floating ashes in space. The vast majority of them return when the upper stage burns up. Most upper stages are either immediately disposed of, or at least placed in an orbit where they will be gone within 20 or so years.

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    $\begingroup$ Yet the upper stage of a Geo launch end in the graveyard $\endgroup$ – Joe Jobs Sep 2 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeJobs: Actually the upper stages itself ar enot sent into "the" graveyard orbit but stay in a degrading GEO-Transfer-Orbit for a longer time. So basically the only way to end up in "THE" graveyard orbit is to have ones aches on a GEO Satellite that is sent to the graveyard orbit after its mission OR to be on a satellite sent to another orbit after operational time and call this a graveyard orbit... $\endgroup$ – CallMeTom Sep 3 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ I think there are some upper stages that end up in the GEO orbit, but those tend to be for military missions. I really doubt any of those contain ashes... $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Sep 8 at 20:09
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Clyde Tombaugh is in the Kuiper belt but Eugene Shoemaker now orbits the Earth.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nothing on or around the Moon? $\endgroup$ – Joe Jobs Sep 2 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeJobs check the fourth link. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 3 at 1:47

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