Who was Matthew Gallagher? Family to raise funds to send space-loving 11-yr-old son's ashes TO MOON
Cori and Scott Gallagher have started a fundraising campaign to send the ashes of their son Matthew Gallagher to the moon
A devastated family wants to fulfill their late son's dream of going to space by sending his ashes to be buried on the moon. Cori and Scott Gallagher, who hail from Florida, have started a fundraising campaign to send the ashes of their son Matthew Gallagher, 11, who died unexpectedly in May, to be buried on the lunar surface. The grieving parents said that since the age of 5, Matthew was determined to become an astronaut. However, the youngster never got the chance to pursue his aspirations after his May 18 demise. According to Tampa Bay 10, his mom found him unresponsive in the middle of the night.
The devastated parents soon stumbled upon Celestis Memorial Spaceflights, a company that offers to launch loved ones' remains into space, and immediately sought the service to honor their son's memory. “I just know that he would have a grin from ear to ear, and it would never go away because he would get to do something that he always wanted to do,” Cori told Fox 13.
Matthew's parents said he was more than just a space enthusiast and even his teachers from years past knew about his obsession with celestial bodies. "He had season passes with my dad every Summer to Kennedy Space Center," Cori told WTSP. "He had a full-blown astronaut suit and wore it constantly." She said her son even had the chance of grabbing lunch with an astronaut at Kennedy Space Center a couple of years ago. "I think he probably talked the astronaut's ear off," Cori reminisced. "Because he just had so many questions and wanted to know so much information."
Matthew dreamed of becoming a pilot for the Blue Angeles or the Thunderbirds someday. The youngster was very knowledgeable about airplanes and would point out different models at airshows. "He even started flying," his mom said. "He actually logged his first flight hours when we lived in Grand Prairie, Texas." Cori said their neighbor was a flight instructor for NASA and studied aeronautical engineering. She saw Matthew's eagerness to learn and taught him how to fly so he could have a headstart in his career as a pilot.
What's more, Matthew was also a mega fan of Elon Musk and his companies Tesla and SpaceX. "Everything was SpaceX," his parents remarked. Cori revealed that her son's bedroom was decorated in a space theme. “He could tell you everything about the moon’s different phases and point out the different planets in the night sky, and many constellations,” the Gallaghers wrote on a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for sending Matthew's ashes to space.
The family is planning to send his cremated remains via the Destiny Flight that is scheduled to launch sometime in 2023. Cori and Scott noted how their son's ashes will be buried on the lunar surface so they can remember him every time they look up at the moon. "We'd always say, ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ And so we chose the lunar flight. So that way, every time anybody who knew Matthew contributed, wanted to contribute … looks at the moon, would know that he's up there," Cori told Fox 13. Meanwhile, Celestis CEO Charles Chafer said in a statement, “We are touched and saddened by Matthew’s story. We are pleased to lend our support to his family’s call for assistance in making his memorial spaceflight a reality.” The family had raised more than $13,000 of their $14,000 goal at the time of publication.