Our favorite alternative for the afterlife**-being launched into space like James Doohan of Star Trek's Mr. Scott fame-is suitable for those not bothered by the vagaries of commercial space launches. But if you like the idea of giving back to the planet after you leave, "promession," a body-disposal method developed by Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Masak, may be the way to go. A body is put in a con-tainer and dipped in a vat of liquid nitrogen cooled to "321 degrees F, which dehydrates it and makes it so brittle that a jolt of vibration "shatters" it into heaps of powder. After a machine removes dental fillings and artificial joints, the flour-like remains (equivalent to about a third of the body's original weight) are placed in a box made of potato starch. The shallowly buried container and its contents disintegrate in less than a year, returning essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus to the topsoil (coffins, in contrast, can take decades to decompose, and cremation turns corpses into nutrient-poor inorganic carbon). If the environmental implications don't convince you, consider the cost. Wiigh-Masak estimates that promession for one person will cost around $1,000, far less than the $8,000 that the average funeral and burial require. "There are six billion people on the Earth, and none of us is giving anything back to the soil," Wiigh-Masak says. "If I know my body can make a plant grow after I die, that's very appealing."