Final resting place out of this world

THE search for a final resting place - somewhere quiet but with a spectacular view - has been given a rocket-fuelled boost by a new satellite marketing company.

Although China Satellite Launch Agents (Hongkong) Ltd (CSLA) sees its main clients as investors in the telecommunications field, there could be room on board the rocket for an urn.

Extra-terrestrial burial starts with a gentle earth orbit for an average of 12 years before a final burst of fuel sends the satellite into outer space for eternity.

Estimated costs are $130,267 per kilogram if you want your payload to go boldly into space forever, or $285,347 per kg if you want it to return. The price would vary with bulk.

The client just needs to state his or her budget and CSLA promises to do the rest using already available rocket launching services and tracking and control expertise from China.

Of course, the travel opportunities for the final frontier do not stop at the dearly-departed.

The first contract drawn up by the company, and due for launch in mid-September, is a load of stamps.

An Asian entrepreneur plans to put them on souvenir envelopes when they return after a brief eight-day orbit and market them as space mail.

CSLA vice-president Cecil Yow Hon-hung, formerly with advertising agency Leo Burnett, said: ''We have a concept and we are looking at a very good business proposition.

''We are saying to people who thought they couldn't afford to get into satellites, that they can.

''These satellite people are all scientists and we don't think they understand marketing, but we do.

''We would like to think we are contributing to the development of the aerospace industry by enlarging the market.

''We will either get rich or we will fold.''