gravestones on the moon Fun Facts

Has Anyone Been Buried On The Moon?


It’s an interesting, albeit morbid question. The moon’s surface has no environmental activity, is geologically dead internally, and exists in a vacuum. The moon would be the absolute perfect place to be buried if you didn’t want your remains disturbed — by man or nature.

Considering that the United States has made multiple manned missions to the moon, and other nations have sent rovers, orbiters and other various types of probes, it may not be that big of a stretch to wonder if the moon ended up being someone’s final resting place. After all, people have had their cremated remains launched into space.

Cremated remains in space?

New Horizons Space Probe

New Horizons Space Probe

A space burial might be more common than you think. A space burial is a type of burial which a small sample of the cremated ashes of the deceased are placed in a lipstick-sized capsule and are launched into space. As of 2004, it is estimated that at least 150 people have had their ashes shot up into infinite void we call space.

A few famous people have opted for this type of burial after their passing, including Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Timothy Leary. However, only one person can lay claim to having their remains on a trajectory out of our solar system. His remains will leave our solar system and eventually visit other the stars. That person’s name is Clyde Tombaugh. Mr Tombaugh is the man who discovered Pluto. His ashes are aboard the New Horizons spacecraft – the first probe to pass by and photograph the surface of Pluto on its way out of the solar system.

Has Anyone Been Buried On The Moon?

The answer depends on your definition of “buried on the moon”. Currently, there are no intact remains buried in the lunar soil.

Fallen Astronaut

The Fallen Astronaut

However, Eugene Shoemaker, noted geologist and planetary scientist, was cremated after his passing and his ashes carried to the moon on July 31, 1999 in a capsule created by Carolyn Porco. To date, he is the only person who calls the moon his final resting place.

On Aug 1st, 1971, astronauts from the Apollo 15 mission placed a memorial in commemoration of the astronauts who have given their lives in the pursuit and advancement of space exploration. It’s an aluminum sculpture of an astronaut in a spacesuit and is called “Fallen Astronaut”. Along with the sculpture sits a plaque bearing the names of six Soviet cosmonauts and eight American astronauts who have given their lives towards this goal.


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