NASA and one private company respond to Navaho nation’s demand to cancel lunar mission

Both NASA and one of the private companies involved in ULA’s first Vulcan rocket launch on January 8, 2023 that will carry the Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander to the Moon have now responded to the Navaho nation, which has stated its religion gives it the unlimited right to decide what can go there.

Navaho President Buu Nygren had claimed earlier this week that the “Moon is sacred to numerous Indigenous cultures” and the payloads of human ashes being sent to the Moon was “tantamount to desecration.” He demanded the mission be delayed or canceled.
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Navaho Indians attempt to claim ownership of the Moon, delay Vulcan launch

The president of the Navaho Nation has asked NASA to delay the first launch of ULA’s Vulcan rocket because it carries ashes from a number of people (none who were members of its tribe) that Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander will place on the Moon.

The remains are a payload purchased by the company Celestis, which offers this burial option to anyone who wishes it. On this flight that payload includes a wide range of ashes, including many actors and creators from the original Star Trek series.

Navaho President Buu Nygren claims that the “Moon is sacred to numerous Indigenous cultures and that depositing human remains on it is ‘tantamount to desecration.'”

Nygren highlighted this commitment in his letter, as well as a 2021 memo signed by the Biden administration that pledged to consult the tribe on matters that impact them. “This memorandum reinforced the commitment to Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000,” President Nygren wrote. “Additionally, the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indigenous Sacred Sites, which you and several other members of the Administration signed in November 2021, further underscores the requirement for such consultation.”

In other words, though the Navaho have no plans to ever go there, have done nothing to try to explore it, and have no remains of any tribal members on the flight, he wants to claim the Moon as controlled entirely and forever by the Indian tribes of North America because of a law designed solely to protect specific archeological sites on Earth, where Indian remains are discovered.
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Celestis recovers astronaut’s remains from suborbital rocket explosion

Celestis, the company that specializes in sending people’s ashes into space, has successfully recovered the remains of a former Apollo astronaut Philip Chapman (who never flew in space) after the suborbital rocket they were on exploded four seconds into flight.

“All 120 flight capsules are safely in the hands of launch personnel and will be returned to us awaiting our next flight as soon as UP and Spaceport America complete their investigation and any required fixes are implemented,” Celestis said in a statement on Wednesday. The recovered payloads are set to fly again on board the company’s upcoming Perseverance Flight. The company said it only launches a “symbolic portion” of ashes or DNA sample from its participants.

Celestis has sent remains of many celebrities as well as ordinary customers on a number of orbital and suborbital flights over the years. The recovery of the remains and their expected reflight in this case enhances its business model, since none of its customers want their ashes lost in a rocket failure, before reaching space.

Remains or DNA samples of numerous Star Trek actors/creators to be sent into space

Because the space burial company Celestis has now made agreements to fly into space the remains or DNA samples of so many actors or creators from the classic Star Trek television series on its next burial flight, it has named that flight its “Enterprise Mission.”

Slipping the gravitational bonds of Earth early next year, the Enterprise Flight will blast off in early 2023 using United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket carrying additional cremated remains and DNA samples of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, “Star Trek” engineer James “Scotty” Doohan, and “2001: A Space Odyssey” VFX wizard Douglas Trumbull.

The Enterprise Flight’s trajectory will send the spacecraft roughly 93 million miles to 186 million miles (150 million to 300 million kilometers) into deep space beyond our familiar Earth-moon system. Celestis’ memorial mission intends on launching over 200 space burial flight capsules comprised of cremated ash remains, special messages, mementos and DNA samples from a range of international customers headed towards the great mystery of interplanetary space.

The flight will also include the remains or DNA samples from special effects artist Greg Jein, the series original associated producer Robert H. Justman, and actors Nichelle Nichols and DeForest Kelly.

What makes this burial flight especially unique is that the cremated remains and DNA samples will apparently be on a part of the Vulcan rocket that will escape Earth orbit and enter solar orbit.