While the shuttle is without astronauts, Star Trek's "Scotty" is on board. "Scotty" is one of the 308 memorial passengers who are aboard this historical mission. Another honorable mention is Leroy Gordon "Gordo" Cooper, Jr., whom was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts. "Gordo" piloted the Mercury Shuttle on May 15, 1963. They are aboard a second stage of the rocket, which separated from the main rocket, and will orbit the earth for a year before burning up on re-entry.
Celestis Memorial Spaceflight Services teamed with SpaceX to provide the ashes a trip to the heavens. Depending on how far one wants to send their ashes will determine the price. The Earth Rise Service, which will return the ashes to earth starts at $995. The Earth Orbit Service includes launching the ashes to orbit the earth, starts at $2,995. For those who wish to send their loved ones to the moon, they may prefer the Luna Service, starting at $9,995. For the truly adventurous, they may select the Voyager Service, launching their ashes into deep space. This service has starting rate of $12,500.
SpaceX launched the inaugural voyage of Falcon 9 on June 4, 2010, which proved successful. SpaceX has proven reliable with each new mission they accept. With their constant advancement in technology and Safety, we may eventually find ourselves with commercial flights carrying live passengers into space at the reasonable cost that ashes can board for. Currently a live space tourist is shelling out $20 million or more for the experience, while ashes can obtain a ticket for under a thousand.
As Scotty once said, "So, the Enterprise has had its maiden voyage, has it? She is one well-endowed lady. I'd like to get my hands on her "ample nacelles," if you pardon the engineering parlance." Farewell, Scotty!