Navajo president meets with NASA, again asks that human remains not be landed on the moon

By Michel Marizco
Published: Monday, February 12, 2024 - 7:47am
Updated: Monday, February 12, 2024 - 11:51am

Spacecraft on launch pad
Cory Huston/NASA
United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket carrying Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander is rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

Navajo Nation president Buu Nygren met with NASA’s administrator recently to ask again that human remains not be landed on celestial bodies.

Since December, Nygren has asked that the space agency not fly human remains to the moon. That was in prelude to a failed space launch by a private space company that tried launching a rocket bearing human remains that was destined for the moon.

In a statement, Nygren said he told Bill Nelson that he’s opposed to federal funds being used to support burial activities that impact Native cultures. The moon is considered sacred to the Navajo, and burying human remains on it is considered a desecration. NASA has promised to review its policies but made no further commitment. 

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