Grieving relatives of a schoolboy who died aged 11 are set to send his ashes to the moon to fulfill his ambition to go into space.

Matthew Gallagher dreamed of becoming an astronaut and was fascinated by the solar system and the constellations in the night sky.

Matthew’s family, who live in Florida, hope to honor his memory by arranging for his ashes to be sent into space after he died unexpectedly while his parents slept on May 18.

His cremated remains are to go on Destiny Flight to the moon, which is expected to launch in 2023, according to the New York Post.

It is hoped that his ashes will be buried on the surface so that his loved ones can remember him every time they see the moon.

Matthew was described as a “kind-hearted soul” who “deeply touched countless people during his short life on earth” on GoFundMe page launched by his family to pay for a memorial space mission.

The page was set up by his parents, Scott and Corey Gallagher, who hailed his “exciting and playful approach to life”.

“Knowing Matthew was one of God’s great blessings and it was impossible not to love him,” shared his father, a US Marine.

“Matthew was happiest when he was wearing superhero costumes, playing video games with his sister and friends, working on projects with his dad and hugging his mom.

“Matthew loved anime, outer space, biking, hockey, baseball, Spider-Man and playing outside.

“Matthew was a bright young man.

“His biggest dream was to become an astronaut and go into outer space.”

Matsvey dreamed of becoming an astronaut

The family hopes to attend the launch of Matthew’s space mission and has so far raised nearly $12,000 of their $14,000 goal.

Matthew’s parents later added a couple of photos of their son to the fundraising page, posting: “We just wanted to share the cute face you’ll be helping send to the moon.”

The 11-year-old, who was born on a Marine Corps base in California, is survived by a sister, Savannah, and many relatives and friends.

“He will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” added Mr Gallagher.

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