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Daughter sends mother's ashes to space through memorial flight to honor her last wish

This Texan couple did not back out from splurging $12000 to ensure their deceased family member's ashes get to orbit Earth forever.

Daughter sends mother's ashes to space through memorial flight to honor her last wish
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Terri Howard-Hughes

Trying to fulfill the last wishes of your loved one is essential for every individual. Sometimes, your departed family, friend or acquaintance might have wanted to get buried at a specific place after their death or they might have wanted their ashes to get scattered to a specific spot after cremation. Similarly, Angela Burke had a specific wish when it came to deciding the final destination of her ashes. So when the time came, Burke's daughter Terri Howard-Hughes and her husband Clint made sure to send the remains of Burke to space.


Hughes' mother wanted her ashes to be sent to deep space and that wish turned into reality on January 8, 2024, at Cape Canaveral when her ashes rode a Vulcan rocket to space, per WFAA. A company called Celestis, known for making memorial spaceflights, made Burke's posthumous dream come true. "My mother learned very early that things are not important, it's people," Hughes told the outlet. Hughes and her husband, who hail from Plano, Texas, honored Hughes' Austria-born mother's last wishes, who passed away more than a year and a half ago.


Hughes described her as a kind, compassionate and highly intelligent lady who had a penchant for mischief. Burke received her Master's and Doctorate in philosophy and even taught and ran a psychology clinic at a university. "Before my mom died, she said, 'I wanna go to space. I wanna go to deep space.' I'm like, 'OK?'" Hughes said despite being puzzled. However, Burke had a playful spirit and along with her husband of 43 years, she was no stranger to adventures.


Hughes' husband also admitted that making his late mother-in-law's last wishes come true brought them true joy. The Texas-based Celestis company, which took the responsibility to transport the ashes of Burke to space, was formed in 1994 and they've been regularly taking memorial trips to space since then. "Gift yourself or those you love with the peace of mind that comes with planning your Space Memorial experience ahead of time. Then, every time your loved ones look to the evening skies, they will feel reverence and awe of knowing your memory will always be shining on them from above," the company's website reads.

The shuttle took off from Cape Canaveral with the remains of 300 other deceased individuals, which were locked up in modules that will be sent into deep space. "They also had hair follicles of Presidents like Washington, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Reagan," Clint told the outlet. On this memorial flight, Burke's ashes traveled along with the creator of "Star Trek," Gene Roddenberry. "They are going to have debates and interesting conversations for eternity," Clint joked. The Vulcan's flight to space has been delayed three times in the last year.


"It really is almost a religious experience," Clint recalled about the launch. "We wanted to experience it, and it was once in a lifetime." Per the reports, Burke's ashes will orbit the sun forever. However, booking a one-way trip to deep space for Burke's ashes did not come for cheap. Hughes and her husband had to dish out more than $12,000 to make this happen. However, the Celestis' website offers far less expensive packages that can be booked for multiple destinations, like to the moon, deep space or Earth's orbit. "It makes me happy to know that she's up there literally watching over me, literally," Hughes concluded.


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