HOW DOES IT WORK?

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You can be involved in two different types of space mission here at Aeternum, “Shooting Star” and “Space Ark”. Both missions involve the launch of Aeternum satellites into space and orbit around the Earth on commercial rockets. Our satellites hold a selection of capsules (containing the ashes of lost loved ones) and life stories in the form of physical engravings and digital archives. Please navigate through the tabs below to learn more about our missions and services.

Booking a place on a rocket launch is a little more complicated than riding the bus. There are only a few nations that operate commercial rockets (known to the industry as launch vehicles), namely: the USA; Europe; Russia; China; India; Japan and recently New Zealand. Rocket launches are infrequent and demand is high, with only 9-10 on average launching each month. Satellite passengers therefore book (on average) 1-2 years in advance to ensure a place.

To increase the chances of finding a launch slot, and to reduce the 1-2 year lead time to book, Aeternum has partnered with a well-established, UK based launch broker called Commercial Space Technologies Ltd. (CST). CST has specialised in arranging launches for commercial satellites for over 25 years, facilitating the launch of 82 satellites to date (www.commercialspace.co.uk).

CST’s knowledge of future launch schedules/manifests and its close contacts in the commercial launching sector will enable Aeternum to identify available launch capacity and book its place on future rocket launches.

Commercial rockets calculate their capacity by payload mass launched to a particular orbit around the Earth, e.g. the Falcon-9 rocket, operated by SpaceX, has a payload capacity of 22,800kg (50,265lbs) to Lower Earth Orbit. Most rockets are capable of launching 10s of satellites at a time; the current record was 101 satellites launched on an Indian rocket in February 2017. This is possible because satellites are getting smaller and several are able to share the payload space of the same rocket. Our satellite is one of the smallest classes of satellite, called a nanosatellite, with a maximum mass of just 6kg. The small size of our satellite means that we will have ride alongside other satellites, but this will allow us to fit on rockets easier, faster and more efficiently.

Aeternum will continually search for launch opportunities appearing around the world, identifying rockets with spare payload capacity, going to orbits that will service your personal space mission. For more information on the types of space missions we offer, and the orbits they go to, please explore the “Where We Go in Space” tab below.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@aeternum.space.

You can get involved in two different types of space mission here at Aeternum, “Shooting Star” and “Space Ark”. Both missions involve the launch of Aeternum satellites into space and orbit around the Earth, on commercial rockets.

Shooting Star missions will launch into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is between 350km (220 miles) and 2000km above the Earth’s surface. This altitude is similar to, or even beyond, astronauts on-board the International Space Station, thus exposing the satellite to the same weightless space environment. The relatively low altitude of the orbit means the satellite will eventually re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, burning up and appearing as a shooting star to observers on the ground. The lifetime of this mission (the time it is in space and orbit around the Earth) will range from 1-5 years, depending on the type of commercial rocket booked and the altitude it launches to for other satellites on-board (for more information on why we launch with other satellites, please explore the “Getting on a Rocket” tab above).

Space Ark missions will launch slightly above Geostationary Orbit (GEO), which is 35,000km (over 21,000 miles) above the Earth’s surface. At this altitude the satellite is too far from the Earth to naturally re-enter. In the vacuum and low temperatures (-270 Celsius or -454 Fahrenheit) of space the satellite and its contents could persist indefinitely, orbiting the Earth for centuries, millennia or more.

The difference in the orbits and timelines of the two missions means that the services and experiences they offer our clients are also different. Further information on these missions and the services they offer can be found in the tabs below.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@aeternum.space.

Ashes which are booked onto our Shooting Star missions will enter space in a Low Earth Orbit. This means that after orbiting the earth for a certain period of time (around 1-5 years, depending on the launch), they will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere as a shooting star.

Ashes (and/or data) booked onto our Spark Ark missions will enter space in an orbit (see the “Where we Go in Space” tab above for more details) more distant than our Shooting Star Service. This means that ashes booked onto this service will not naturally return to Earth but remain in orbit around the Earth indefinitely, potentially remaining for centuries, millennia or more in space. For this reason, we also include a memory card as a digital ‘time capsule’ to be sent with your life story (or that of a loved one) into the distant future.

1) Receive our Pack in the post

2) Deposit ashes

3) We arrange launch

4) Follow its journey through space

After you have booked a service which includes ashes, you will receive our Space Memorial Pack in the post. This contains our specially designed and tested Memorial Capsule (which will be engraved with your loved one’s initials), and an ash allocation scoop with which to load a symbolic portion of your loved one’s ashes (over 1 gram). Space Ark Memorial Packs will also include a 64GB MicroSD Card on which you can load your loved one’s data (be it photos, videos, social media archives, etc.).

Your pack will also contain a return shipping label, or instructions for downloading and printing a return shipping label from a web link. Once ready, simply follow the instructions included with your Pack to post your loved one’s Memorial Capsule to our facility. Your loved one’s Memorial Capsule (and MicroSD card, if applicable) will then be loaded into our specially designed and space qualified (the design has been flown in space) satellite body (as seen below). Once the satellite body has been fully loaded with capsules, we will laser etch a message you have chosen (up to 50 characters) on the spacecraft module’s outer plating. This entire process, from capsule loading to laser etching, will be carefully documented in photographic mission updates and personally sent to you as the stages of your loved one’s incredible journey unfold.

Once an Aeternum satellite (or spacecraft) has been filled, it will be etched with its unique mission logo (you will receive the same logo as a mission patch in your Pack or later depending time of booking) and we will make arrangements for the spacecraft to be loaded onto a commercial rocket. This takes place months before the launch date to allow for tests that ensure the satellite, and your loved one’s Memorial Capsule, are correctly and safely fitted alongside all the other satellites launching on the same rocket (for more information on this process please explore the “Getting on a Rocket” tab above). We will keep you updated on every stage of this process with regular mission updates, including photos of the spacecraft being fitted to the rocket.

Once the rocket is ready, fuelled and on the launch pad, we will provide you with a web link to a live video feed of the launch.

Once the rocket has launched, you will be able to track the progress of your loved one’s journey, as they orbit the Earth, with our Satellite Tracking Service (please select the “Satellite Tracking Service” tab below for more details).

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@aeternum.space.

When you purchase a Spark Ark data-only service (i.e. without an ashes element), your digital ‘time capsule’ will be sent very far from the Earth, beyond geostationary orbit (see the “Where we Go in Space” tab above for more details).

Once you complete your order for a data-only Spark Ark service, we will automatically create a secure online folder of your chosen memory size which you will be able to access with your account details and chosen password. You will be able to upload any data you choose to store into this digital time capsule – be it photos of your or a loved one’s life, meaningful music or videos, an archive of a social media profile to act as a life story, or a digital copy of your or a loved one’s genome, for example.

Due to strict deadlines imposed on us by external launch (rocket) providers, we must impose an equally strict deadline on our customers’ data uploads. We will provide the deadline (typically 3 months) for you to finish uploading any data to your online folder when you complete your order (we are happy to offer an extension on this time if necessary, but it may mean moving your data to a later launch). After this date, your digital folder will be locked, and we will start to transfer this data onto memory cards in order to launch it into space.

To give your data the best chance of surviving the high radiation environment of space, we will store your data three separate times on the memory card of our satellite (or spacecraft). The Aeternum Space Ark Spacecraft will also be lined with NASA developed radiation shielding.

Once your data has been stored on memory cards, they will be loaded onto our specially designed and space qualified satellite body (as seen below).

We will then make all arrangements for the spacecraft to be loaded onto a commercial rocket, with the rocket crew (responsible for attaching satellites to the rocket) documenting the process. This takes place months before the relevant launch date to allow for tests that ensure the satellite and your data, are correctly and safely fitted alongside all the other satellites launching on the same rocket (for more information on this process please explore the “Getting on a Rocket” tab above). We will keep you updated with photographic mission updates throughout the whole process.

Once the rocket it ready to launch, we will provide you with a web link to a live video feed of the launch.

As data-only services are always sent deeper into space, ‘beyond geostationary’ orbit, the spacecraft will orbit the Earth, with your data safely stored, indefinitely (see the “Where we Go in Space” tab above for more details). You will be able to track the progress of your digital time capsule with our Satellite Tracking Service (please click the link below for further details).

NOTE: We value your personal data and information. Your online folder will be protected by Amazon Web Services. We will not open any of the files you upload to your online folder, only copy them to the memory cards of our spacecraft. Following a successful launch we will delete all data you have uploaded to your online folder, meaning that the only copy remaining will be either with you or in space.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@aeternum.space.

Aeternum offers engraving-only services (i.e. without an ashes or data element) on both our Shooting Star (Lower Earth Orbit) and Space Ark (beyond Geostationary Orbit) missions. You may think of this service as an astral ‘message in a bottle’.

Our Shooting Star mission will orbit the Earth for a certain period of time (around 1-5 years, depending on the launch) and your engraved message will eventually re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, flashing across the sky as a shooting star (see the “Where we Go in Space” tab above for more details on the orbit).

Engraved messages booked onto our Spark Ark missions will enter space in a more distant orbit than our Shooting Star missions. This means that engraved messages on this service will orbit the Earth indefinitely, potentially drifting out into deep space over several millennia (see the “Where we Go in Space” tab above for more details on the orbit).

After you have booked an engraving-only service, you will receive a confirmation email requesting your personal message of either 200 characters (if you have chosen our Shooting Star mission) or 50 characters (if you have chosen our Space Ark mission). If you wish to have a message longer than the standard number of characters assigned for Shooting Star or Space Ark missions, we would be happy to accommodate (please contact enquiries@aeternum.space before ordering).

Once you have provided your personalised message, we will engrave it onto the outer panel of our specially designed and space qualified (meaning the design has been flown in space) satellite body (as seen below).

We will then make all arrangements for the spacecraft to be loaded onto a commercial rocket, with the rocket crew (responsible for attaching satellites to the rocket) documenting the process. This takes place months before the relevant launch date to allow for tests that ensure the satellite and your engraved message, are correctly and safely fitted alongside all the other satellites launching on the same rocket (for more information on this process please explore the “Getting on a Rocket” tab above). We will keep you updated with photographic mission updates throughout the whole process.

Once the rocket it ready to launch, we will provide you with a web link to a live video feed of the launch.

Once the rocket has launched, you will be able to track the progress of your message’s journey with our Satellite Tracking Service (please click the link below for further details).

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@aeternum.space.

FOLLOW THE JOURNEY

AETERNUM SATELLITE TRACKER

Currently tracking the International Space Station

The epic space-bound journey of all Aeternum missions can be tracked here in real time as they orbit the Earth.

For those taking a voyage on one of our “Shooting Star” Missions, your loved ones will be able to follow as you circle the Earth with the majestic spectacle of our rolling planet below and stars above. The return journey of Shooting Star Missions and the location the spacecraft re-enters the atmosphere can also be witnessed through this service, allowing your loved ones to note where on the Earth your symbolic journey concludes.

Those on a “Space Ark” Mission will also be able to plot the orbital path of their spacecraft over the Earth for the indefinite future, with no planned return journey. With the extended distance of these missions, the Earth will appear as a blue marble suspended in the wondrous expanse of space, and with the aid of Sat Track, Aeternum customers will have a continued link to this symbolic and inspiring perspective on space.

MOBILE APP

Carry the incredible journey with you wherever you go with the Aeternum Space Track mobile app, available on Android and Apple devices.

Mobile App under construction