Charles M. ChaferThe MSNBC article Company offers moon as final resting place said
The moon could become a final resting place for some of mankind thanks to a commercial service that hopes to send human ashes to the lunar surface on robotic landers.
Celestis, Inc., a company that pioneered the sending of cremated remains into suborbital space on rockets, said it would start a service to the surface of the moon that could begin as early as next year.
Celestis president Charles Chafer said his company reached an agreement with Odyssey Moon Ltd. and Astrobotic Technology Inc., to attach capsules containing cremated remains onto robotic lunar landers.
In the past 11 years, Celestis Inc., a unit of Houston-based Space Services Incorporated, has sent the ashes of hundreds of people from 14 nations into space, including U.S. astronaut Gordon Cooper and “Star Trek” actor James Doohan, who played chief engineer Scotty in the popular TV series.
Charles Chafer and President Bill Clinton
Charles was a founding partner of Team Encounter, LLC., a fully integrated aerospace, entertainment and event marketing company with a mission to provide a global, mass market audience with unique and public participation space missions and events. He made significant advances in solar sail technology, conducted a series of history-making “Cosmic Calls”, and pioneered the practice of partnering with multinational corporations in a series of real space missions.
Charles cofounded Celestis, Inc., and led the team that garnered worldwide notice for the first launch of a post cremation memorial spaceflight carrying the ashes of several celebrities, space scientists, and enthusiasts into orbit. He also served as President of the Celestis Foundation, the non profit affiliate of Celestis, Inc. that makes cash awards to promising space ventures, organizations, and to individuals who are contributing to the advance of space commerce and space development.
Before cofounding Celestis, he created a satellite-based, interactive videoconferencing network for telemedicine and distance learning in Texas and West Virginia combining medical schools, vocational schools, NASA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and state governments.
During the 1980’s, working for former Mercury and Apollo-Soyuz astronaut Deke Slayton, Charles managed marketing and government relations for Space Services Inc. of America (SSI). SSI was the first company to successfully launch a privately funded rocket into outer space (Conestoga 1 1982).
Before joining SSI, Charles served an appointment to the faculty of the Georgetown University Graduate School where he co-authored Space Exploration and the Social Sciences, a NASA-funded book nominated by the agency in 1982 for the prestigious Blue Pencil award for the best US government manuscript.
On February 18, 2004, he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation at a “field hearing” in Houston. He has also testified before Congress on commercial space issues, participated in White House working groups on space policy, is regularly profiled in international print and visual media, and has published numerous articles in the field.
He is the recipient of the Interactive Video Association innovation award in 1990, the 1996 National Space Society Pioneer Award for Space Business, and the 1997 Space Frontier Foundation “From Vision to Reality” award for his commercial space leadership.
Read Responsive Space Systems and Consumer Markets: The Celestis Case and The Testimony of Mr. Charles M. Chafer.