Even in the freezing cold, Steven Schnider would often drag his wife Christine outside to look up at the night sky. He’d point out everything from planets to comets to satellites he’d tracked down using an app called Heavens Above.
“He’d say, ‘Do you see it?’ It’s right there. And it would be the faintest little piece of light going across the sky,” Christine recalls. “He was just so excited about it.”
When Steven was close to death in 2017, there was a consensus among family members that a space burial would be the best way to send him off. Their daughter took out her phone, did a quick search and pulled up a company called Celestis.
Last June, a portion of Steven’s ashes — along with cremated remains from over 150 other Celestis clients — were flown into Earth’s orbit aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Another portion of his ashes will fly aboard the Luna 02 mission, which is slated for takeoff in 2022.
“He’d be so excited that he was in space,” Christine says.