A space tech company suggested a way on how funerals can be held on Mars if a member of a human colony dies. The funeral plans unveiled by the company involves the use of a special garment for the dead and a recycling process that would turn the body of the deceased into raw materials.

The idea of having funerals in Martian human colonies was developed by Analgos LLC, the space tech firm that participated in a simulated Mars mission in Hawaii in January. The company believes that since funerals are essential parts of the grieving rituals of humans, they should also be practised on Mars once a colony has been established.

Martian Death Garment

Mars colony
Team SEArch /Apis Cor’s 3D modeled design

One of the main components of the Martian funeral is a special garment designed for the deceased. For this aspect, the company's CEO JJ Hastings partnered with fashion designer Pia Interlandi to develop the Martian death garment, which is part of the latter's "Garments of the Grave" collection.

The special clothing designed by Interlandi consists of four layers that are all 100 percent biodegradable. The entire garment looks like a tunic with layers of wraps. Each of the layers is made from silkworm proteins. Making the layers biodegradable would allow the entire garment to decompose with the body to minimize waste on Mars.

Funeral Rituals On Mars

According to Interlandi, she decided to make a multi-layered garment to pay tribute to the funeral and grieving rituals of various cultures. She noted that dressing up the deceased in various layers would allow the grieving parties to get closer to the body.

"The closing of the coffin is often too abrupt and too hard and too sudden," she told Space.com. "We need to have a process where we can slowly veil and conceal the body [so] that it's a softer, more gentle kind of fading out."

Recycling The Corpses

People declared dead can hear their death being announced by doctors
VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A friend touches the coffin of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during an anti-drug operations in Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines August 22, 2017. Picture taken August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro Reuters

After the funeral, the corpse of the deceased will then undergo a special process that would essentially recycle it. Although Hastings did not go into detail regarding the actual recycling process, she noted that it would decompose the body and turn it into raw materials.

Since the body is made up of various vital minerals such as salt, carbon and water, extracting these elements through recycling will be very important on Mars. Although the entire process seems macabre, minimizing waste will be an important aspect of a Mars colony's sustainability.