Here's How NASA Plans to Dispose of Dead Bodies in Space

Currently, disposal of corpses is not a major concern for space travelers, since missions are so short and relatively safe that death during spaceflight is not a particularly strong possibility. However, if humans are going to undergo long-term spaceflights to visit Mars and other deep space locations, death in space will become an inevitability, and NASA has a fascinating — if slightly disturbing — idea for disposing of the bodies. NASA's plan is to freeze them in the airlock and then violently shake the body with a robotic arm until it turns to space dust. The bag containing the remaining powder would then fold itself up into a neat square, and the remains would be returned to the family. This is a little bit disturbing on its face, and we'd all rather just float away — like Dr. Poole in 2001: A Space Odyssey — but a space-friendly and cost-effective alternative is nothing to sneeze at, so this may very well be our method of body disposal once we begin living and dying in space.