With the space tourism industry growing and trips costing $20,000 or more, it may seem too good to be true to get a tax break along with your flight up to to the final frontier. And that's because it is too good to be true, unless your final wish was to be buried among the cosmos.
New legislation proposed by Virginia Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, according to the Washington Examiner, will go to General Assembly next year in the hopes of getting approval offer a tax break for shooting the cremated remains of loved ones into space.
Under the proposed legislation, those choosing this burial option would be offered a $2,500 tax deduction -- up to $8,000 per household. What's the point of offering a tax incentive for space burial? The Washington Examiner reports it would help drum up Virigina's commercial space industry, which is already worth $7.6 billion in annual economic output and created 28,000 jobs.
The Examiner reports that currently only one company in the U.S. offers space burials:
Houston-based Celestis bases its charges on how far into space customers want to go. For $1,000, a person's earthly remains are launched into space but return to Earth. Having one's remains sent to the moon costs $10,000. And a deep space burial is $12,500.
Celestis founder Charles Chafer said he doesn't know of any state that offers tax credits for space burial. He said the credit could help with his company's visibility, but would probably also attract competitors, as Virginia companies start to take advantage of the market opened up by the tax break.
Learn more about space burial from Celestis in this video:
The LA Times reports that space burials began in 1997 and those who have taken part include "Star Trek" actor James Doohan.