It's a first, for sure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week granted a license to Indian-American, Naveen Jain, co-founder of Moon Express, which will launch a spacecraft transporting human remains to the moon... if you have the money. The going rate is determined, rather like weighing produce at the green grocer, is $3 million per kilo (or 2.20 pounds). Moon Express is the first private company to get such approval. â€‹
Jain plans to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2017 where the craft will dispatch a robotic probe to the moon. There, the probe will have to travel at least 500 meters and beam HD video back to Earth as part of Moon Express’ bid in order to win the Google Lunar X Prize, which tops out at $20 million.â€‹
In an interview with the New York Post Jain offered, "Since the cremated remains of adults generally weigh between four and six pounds, the indicated price range is $5.4 million to $8.1 million. We already have a long list. The sky is not the limit for Moon Express, it is the launchpad. Space travel is our only path forward to ensure our survival and create a limitless future for our children. In the immediate future, we envision bringing precious resources, metals, and moon rocks back to Earth."
The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian-born space entrepreneur, Bob Richards; Jain, an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose goal is to solve the world's biggest challenges through innovation; and entrepreneur, angel investor, technology and product strategist, Barney Pell. Their common vision is to be at the forefront of commercial space exploration and innovation.