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Assume that we have a space-colony, or ch"ch, a member of an interplanetary mission dies in space. We know that cremation is forbidden, so what would the process for burial be? Would it be similar to a burial at sea and what are the halachot thereof (they are presumably applicable in such a case).

  • Aside from the site cited in Tatpurusha's answer, see this article. – Fred Jul 18 '14 at 5:28
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From http://www.dinonline.org/2011/05/25/burial-at-sea/

A number of sources indicate that burial in the sea is not considered burial. See Pirkei De-Rabbi Eliezer (Chap. 39) concerning the Egyptians in the sea, and Yerushalmi (Shabbos 19b) concerning drowning. The idea of burial is that the person is interned on land, where the dead will someday be resurrected, and the bottom of the sea does not qualify.

Therefore, if at all possible, the Chaplain should encourage Jewish seamen to be buried on land. This is certainly in their benefit, in having a halachic burial, and also in having a memory after their death, and in others being able to honor them by visiting the grave.

It sounds like halakha requires that one be buried in the ground and "burial in space" would not be acceptable, although, chas v'sholem, if there is an overwhelmingly exigent circumstance I am sure there would be room to permit it.

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    +1. I wonder though about burial beneath the ground of another planet. – msh210 Jun 2 '14 at 17:24
  • @msh210 Why would the ground of another planet be different? Soil is soil, isn't it? – Popular Isn't Right Jun 2 '14 at 17:42
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    @Bachrach44 One might imagine that someone buried and then resurrected on another planet would not be able to join Moshiach in the final battle. – Tatpurusha Jun 2 '14 at 18:01
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    It appears that a reason to bury in the ground is that others are able to visit the grave. With a colony in space, as the question asks, why shouldn't people be buried on planets if there is a colony there? – bondonk Jun 2 '14 at 21:16
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    What about shooting someone into a sun? Would this be cremation? – Noach MiFrankfurt Jun 8 '14 at 3:12

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