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Government Space The Almighty Buck Science Idle

Virginia May Help People Pay For Space Burials 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-to-the-stars dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "Want to be buried in space? Virginia would help pay for it under proposed legislation that aims to boost the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The bill, which the General Assembly will debate next year, would provide a Virginia income tax deduction up to $2,500 a year for such burials. Proponents hope the measure will provide revenue for the spaceport, which is expanding because NASA decided to cancel the space shuttle program. The facility, which describes itself as a 'full-service, FAA-licensed spaceport,' is located at Wallops Island on Virginia's coast."
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Virginia May Help People Pay For Space Burials

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  • by For a Free Internet (1594621) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @12:36PM (#38336064)

    If they are in space then they will become space ghosts because GOD can't get to them there, like it says in the BIBLE GOD does not exist outside of the Ionosphere that is the line of the Italians who will drink all our water from space with dead people. Besides, they smell and PASTA need I SAY MORE!!!!

  • now we need to survive on bullshit! what a waste of government time instead of finding a real solution

  • Idiotic plan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @12:39PM (#38336098) Homepage

    They want to encourage development of the space port. That's a reasonable goal I guess.

    Doing so by subsidising what is surely the most pointless reason to launch something into space and also the most wasteful way to dispose of a human body is just stupid.

    • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @12:55PM (#38336246)

      the most wasteful way to dispose of a human body.

      Pfft. Hardly. When it's time for me to kick the bucket I plan on piloting the Burj Khalifa directly into the Louvre.

      I'm still working out the details.

      • by Archtech (159117)

        When it's time for me to kick the bucket I plan on piloting the Burj Khalifa directly into the Louvre.

        You are Randall Munroe and I claim my $64,000.

  • by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Sunday December 11, 2011 @12:51PM (#38336214)
    I haven't found a state or province that will allow my family to burn my body on a traditional pyre. I have written the specifications for how the funeral pyre is to be constructed and the protocols to be observed.... yet, all of it, should it be played out can only be done in secret... possibly in the deserts of california (we're working this out as I type.)
  • The people of Virginia may be forced to waste their money on a stupid pork project.
    • by JBMcB (73720)

      It's been proven by mid-level bureaucrats that spending money on expensive vanity projects generates wealth and jobs!

      Heck, at the end of my block the city used federal stimulus money to build a dog park. It created a fourth of a dozen part-time jobs (running the toll-booth thing) paid for by money the city doesn't have. A win all around!

      • by yotto (590067)

        It's been proven by mid-level bureaucrats that spending money on expensive vanity projects generates wealth and jobs!

        Heck, at the end of my block the city used federal stimulus money to build a dog park. It created a fourth of a dozen part-time jobs (running the toll-booth thing) paid for by money the city doesn't have. A win all around!

        Could be worse, they could have only hired a sixth of a dozen, or even a twelfth of a dozen.

    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      I didn't get that. The state isn't paying for the stupid project, are they? They're just letting people pay for the stupid project and not be taxed for it. Your language suggests that they're taking the money from the government - as if it were the government's money to begin with, and what right has this jerk to waste it how he sees fit? That worries me. And I don't think one needs to be a libertarian nutcase extremist to find fault with that reasoning, either.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        I didn't get that. The state isn't paying for the stupid project, are they? They're just letting people pay for the stupid project and not be taxed for it.
        Your language suggests that they're taking the money from the government - as if it were the government's money to begin with, and what right has this jerk to waste it how he sees fit? That worries me. And I don't think one needs to be a libertarian nutcase extremist to find fault with that reasoning, either.

        2500$ deduction in taxes if you spend it on the space port?

        how is that not a 2500$ deduction in taxes?

        if it wasn't governments money to begin with, how could you deduct from it. eh.

        • If it was government's money "to begin with", why do they have to take it from my paycheck?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, the rich space-nerds of Virginia will get a $2500 one-time (per corpse) tax break to finally, if post-mortem, achieve a lifelong dream of flying in space. The rest of Virginia doesn't even notice $2500*spaceNerds.count() missing from the general revenues, since spaceNerds.count() is low and $2500 is a small amount of money compared to a state budget. The total per year probably won't even be equal to a single kindergarten special ed teacher assistant's yearly salary. Goddard/Wallops Island Spaceport

    • The people of Virginia may be forced to waste their money on a stupid pork project.

      You're using it wrong. A tax deduction is not "pork" - that's actual revenue earmarked for supporting only a small constituency. All states provide tax deductions for spending on some business or another that brings jobs and revenues to their state. This one is no different than the Michigan tax deduction that Michael Moore took advantage of for filming one of his movies in the state. Well, actually, it is different, because this is a $2,500 deduction from gross income, whereas what Moore got was a refu

  • by ThreeGigs (239452) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @01:01PM (#38336320)

    Who gets to make the tax deduction? And if it's on the dead guy's estate, why per year? I mean, how many times to they expect a person to die in Virginia, anyhow?

  • Per year? (Score:5, Funny)

    by PetiePooo (606423) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @01:04PM (#38336348)
    "$2500 a year" it says. Just how many times will they allow a dead person to be shot into space?

    "Today, we say farewell to Uncle Bob's left arm. We're all thankful knowing it will be joining his torso and the rest of his limbs in heaven. Amen"

    "Psst! Aunt Sally, no more tax breaks, please. We're all sick of driving out here to see yet another funeral/blast off."
    • by Talence (4962)

      I'd suppose that the taxes would apply to remaining family, not the deceased person.

      • by eyenot (102141)

        The parent is saying that the deceased can be re-used several times if you cut them into small pieces and send them off a piece a year, translating into multiple instances of tax relief for the family.

        • by Talence (4962)

          Oops, meant to reply to the parent of this post.

          That being said, tax relief does not result in net profit, just in lowering the effective costs of something you'd do anyway. So unless there's an added benefit, I would prefer not to cut up family members this way just for tax relief :-)

  • Planetes [wikipedia.org], anyone?

    Lets give them more garbage to work on!

    • by vadim_t (324782)

      It even had an episode on space burial, though I didn't like much their take on it.

      • by bidule (173941)

        Yeah, the differences in culture are sometimes very surprising. And she's so pushy, too!

  • NASA is shuttering their space program, and the Virginia government wants to repurpose the spaceport to make some money by shooting dead people into space?
    • Believe me, this all makes perfect sense in Virginia. I live here, I should know.

      Hopefully they find a use for the spaceport before they decide to use it for deporting illegal immigrants.

  • for the heart of the sun.
  • it's a delayed cremation on re-entry...
  • To bury someone means to place their dead body underground, in the earth or a tomb. Being launched into space is pretty close to the opposite of burial.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      To bury someone means to place their dead body underground, in the earth or a tomb. Being launched into space is pretty close to the opposite of burial.

      So then I guess we should rename "burial at sea" to just plain simple "body dumping". Burial now has the common connotation of any type of interring of a body in any location: sea, land, or space. Could you have been any more pedantic?

      • by Archtech (159117)

        Burial now has the common connotation of any type of interring of a body in any location: sea, land, or space.

        Unfortunately for your argument, "interring" means "covering with earth".

        Could you have been any more pedantic?

        I certainly hope not. What you deride as "pedantic", I consider "accurate".

    • To bury someone means to place their dead body underground

      ...or place their live body under a large volume of paperwork.

    • That struck me as funny too. After all, if they cremate someone, on a pyre or in a furnace, they cremate them, they don't "bury" them unless they specifically bury the ashes. If someone's ashes are on the mantle in a vase, or scattered to the winds, they aren't referred to as "buried".
      We should come up with a new term maybe. (I like latin: Corpus dispositum)
  • bad precedent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eyenot (102141) <eyenot@hotmail.com> on Sunday December 11, 2011 @01:42PM (#38336700) Homepage

    That's like saying it's okay to junk-up our orbit with space debris. "It's just for a little while", yes, then, people will pay more and expect justice from their government when they demand to be put into a stable orbit. "You condoned it for them, so me, too!" Burial in space should necessitate being put on a tracjectory that would actual take you into OUTER space, not in orbit around the Earth.

    Okay, I would accept one stipulation: your container has to be highly magnetized. Whilst in orbit with the rest of the junk, you will have to do some sweeping up and junk collection on behalf of a grateful Earth. Then, when you re-enter, you can bring the junk in with you and you can all incinerate together.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      IIRC, most space burials are sub-orbital - they re-enter and burn up after 90 days or so, becoming a pollution non-hazard.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        It should be destined for re-entry, not escape velocity. Your body is made of earth that is on loan, nothing more.
      • by imsabbel (611519)

        Which makes it even more pointless... cou could just drop the ashes out of a plane. Same result.

  • Don't just dump me in some random orbit around earth. I wanna rise from the ashes on Ganymede.
  • Subsiding what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveGod (703167) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @02:01PM (#38336828)

    Support for a budding enterprise might be worthwhile, but what socio-economic benefit is there from disbursing cremated ash in space? If I was a VA taxpayer I'd be wondering what I'm paying for.

    Presumably the spaceport is primarily for putting up satellites, which can be useful infrastructure.

    Why subsidise a frivolous use of rocket fuel instead of satellites?

    • Support for a budding enterprise might be worthwhile, but what socio-economic benefit is there from disbursing cremated ash in space? If I was a VA taxpayer I'd be wondering what I'm paying for.

      Presumably the spaceport is primarily for putting up satellites, which can be useful infrastructure.

      Why subsidise a frivolous use of rocket fuel instead of satellites?

      The private space industry (that is, private rockets and launches) is in a very early seed stage. To make it grow, you have to be able to support whatever market exists for the technology now, so that the industry can grow into supporting really interesting and much more important functions.

      Think of it like the very early Internet. When the government funding was virtually gone, and it was handed over to private investment, where did most of the funding for new technologies come from? That's right: Porn

      • How about if someone wants something, they pay for it? I know it is a crazy, radical, outlandish, insane idea but we may want to give it a go. If you want to donate your money to the infant staged private space industry then more power to you. Why do you have to put a gun to my head and force me to give to it?
        • How about if someone wants something, they pay for it? I know it is a crazy, radical, outlandish, insane idea but we may want to give it a go. If you want to donate your money to the infant staged private space industry then more power to you. Why do you have to put a gun to my head and force me to give to it?

          Agreed, it's the way it should be. But then someone comes along and wants to build a public library and thinks it's okay to put a gun to my head for that. And it's not just a tax deduction for the people building it - they want to do it all with confiscated money.

  • We need them for new life...

  • I hope to be the first American to die in space. That would be enough to be notable for Wikipedia I think.

  • oh WTF, never mind:die short and prosper
  • would provide a Virginia income tax deduction up to $2,500 a year for such burials.

    I can just about comprehend dead people paying taxes. But the thought of them coming back to life and, umm, redying on an annual basis has got me confused and a little disturbed.

    • But the thought of them coming back to life and, umm, redying on an annual basis has got me confused and a little disturbed.

      Dead folks vote in elections in every state of the Union. In each election, they tend to vote early, and vote often. Dead folks also cash their social security checks.

      They are a very influential part of the electorate, so I'd be mindful of talking kindly about them . . . them being dead, and all.

  • ... if I'd trust Virginia to dispose of my remains [reuters.com] according to my instructions.

  • While a must admit as a SciFi fanboy and an Uber Geek I love the idea of being buried in space, I don't think that a tax break for doing so in in the best interest of Virginia or anybody really. In a honesty I believe that all tax breaks are unfair. I think that on of the biggest problem with the American economy is the convoluted tax system but, I have a SOLUTION. Here goes let me know what you think! Flush the entire tax code down the toilette, then implement on tax rate for everyone. 10% income tax on
    • by vadim_t (324782)

      Excellent idea, pull a random percentage out of your ass, without even stopping to consider the most fundamental issues, like:

      How much tax is being collected right now
      How much tax would be collected under your scheme
      How much tax is needed to cover what the government spends

      Looking at Wikipedia, the lowest tax bracket in the US is 10%. Highest is 35%. So if you put that in practice you've just cut tax revenue by a huge amount.

      I've not done the calculations, but I'd be surprised if you could pay for the milit

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:15PM (#38337292)

    So, this is how a former blue state, now red, looks at fiscal responsibility?

  • Am I the only one that's worried about losing all of this bio-mass from the earth?
  • A tax deduction does not mean the government is helping you pay for something. It means they're going to take less money from you if you buy a certain product or service.
  • I guess that now the subject of space junk will be an awkward thing to talk about?
  • I misread the headline as:
    Viagra May Help People Pay For Space Burials

  • by Legion303 (97901)

    Pork pork porketty pork pork.

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