ULA Vulcan Centaur Rocket to Send Ashes of Gene & Majel Barrett Rodenberry, James Doohan Beyond the Moon

Star Trek First Family Embarks on Final, Infinite Journey on a Rocket Named Vulcan

HOUSTON, January 26, 2022 (Celestis PR) — Celestis, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a launch services agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Centennial, CO. ULA will host a Celestis Memorial Spaceflight payload aboard the initial flight of ULA’s Vulcan Centaur, planned for later this year. Known as the Enterprise Flight (celestis.com/launch-schedule/enterprise-flight), the Celestis mission will launch more than 150 flight capsules containing cremated remains (ashes), DNA samples, and messages of greetings from clients worldwide on an endless journey in interplanetary space.


Spaceflight Inc. Successfully Deploys 16 Payloads on SpaceX Transporter-1 Mission

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off on Transporter-1 mission. (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

Launch marks debut flight of its next generation OTV, Sherpa-FX

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., January 25, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, successfully launched and deployed 16 payloads, including 15 from its next-generation orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-FX1, aboard the SpaceX Transporter-1 mission. Dubbed SXRS-3 by Spaceflight, the mission launched January 24 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It delivered Spaceflight’s Sherpa-FX1 to Sun Synchronous Low Earth Orbit (525 km alt), where it deployed payloads for more than 10 organizations.


General Atomics Orbital Test Bed Satellite Successfully Launched and Deployed

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Orbital Test Bed successfully launched on board SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. (Credit: General Atomics)

SAN DIEGO, CA (General Atomics PR) – General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that its Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite was successfully launched on-board the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral. OTB was then successfully deployed into orbit after launch, and communication was established between the spacecraft and ground operations to begin satellite commissioning and operations.


Falcon Heavy Carried Ashes of 152 People into Orbit

William Pogue on Skylab (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy on Tuesday launched the ashes of a former NASA astronaut, a space journalist, a space historian and a professional Japanese baseball player into orbit earlier this week.

The Celestis heritage flight, which contained the ashes of 152 people, was a payload aboard General Atomics Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite. OTB is expected to orbit the Earth for 25 years.

For NASA astronaut William Pogue, the flight marked a return to space. Pogue spent a record 84 days aboard the Skylab space station in 1973-74.

The ashes of space journalist Frank Sietzen, Jr. and space historian James M. Busby were also aboard. So were the remains of Japanese professional baseball star Masaru Tomita.

Celestis is a Houston-based company that arranges for memorial flights into space aboard suborbital and orbital launches.

Suborbital Flights Stopped Being So Humdrum in 2018

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo’s first flight above 50 miles on Dec. 13, 2018. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Part 1 of 2

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Throughout the Space Age, suborbital flight has been the least exciting segment of the launch market. Operating in the shadow of their much larger orbital cousins, sounding rockets carrying scientific instruments, microgravity experiments and technology demonstrations have flown to the fringes of space with little fanfare or media attention.

The suborbital sector has become much more dynamic in recent years now that billionaires have started spending money in it. Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic both made significant progress last year in testing New Shepard and SpaceShipTwo, respectively. Their achievements have raised the real possibility of suborbital space tourism flights in 2019. (I know. Promises, promises…. But, this year they might finally really do it. I think.)


Space Services Acquires Odyssey Moon

odysseymoonlogoHOUSTON, September 9, 2014 (SSHI PR) — Space Services Holdings, Inc. (SSHI) of Houston, Texas, today announced the acquisition of Odyssey Moon Ltd. and the addition of key industry veterans to its Board of Directors, signaling an ambitious expansion in the global commercial space market.

Space Services, already an established space industry leader with its iconic Celestis memorial spaceflights, makes these announcements on the heels of exclusive commercial partnerships with NASA and NOAA for the Sunjammer solar sail mission. The acquisition of Odyssey Moon, an Isle of Man headquartered company, situates Space Services as an emerging global pioneer in commercial lunar missions as well.


Celestis Offers Space Pet Burials

celestis_petsHOUSTON (Celestis PR) — Celestis announces the opportunity to honor your special animal companion with a final journey among the stars on board the world’s first pet memorial spaceflight service.

Celestis Pets places a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, deep space, and onto the lunar surface. Missions that return the cremated remains to Earth are available as part of our Earth Rise service.

Your best friend will venture into space as part of a real mission, riding alongside selected commercial and scientific satellites. Choose from the options below.

  • Earth Rise (suborbital) starting at $995
  • Earth Orbit starting at $4,995
  • Luna (moon) starting at $12,500
  • Voyager (deep space) starting at $12,500.

New Space Memorial Service Elysium Starts Up

It looks like space memorial service Celestis is getting some competition.

A new memorial service called Elysium Space is offering to send the ashes of your loved ones into orbit for $1,990 — less than half the $4,995 that Celestis is charging for a similar service.

Elysium’s website says that the first memorial flight is set to take off next summer as a secondary payload to a much larger spacecraft. The Elysium spacecraft is expected to stay in orbit from several months to a couple of years before re-entering the atmosphere. The company doesn’t indicate which launch providers it will be contracting with for flight services.

The company was founded by Thomas Civeit, whom the website describes as having had “extensive experience in space mission operations at NASA, notably including the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Huygens interplanetary probe. He received multiple NASA awards for his work.”

To learn more, visit the Elysium website.


UP Aerospace to Launch Experiments at Spaceport America on June 21

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority is excited to host a NASA Flight Opportunities Program launch conducted by UP Aerospace, Inc., at the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Complex on Friday, June 21. This will be the first sub-orbital NASA Flight Opportunities Program launch, and the 19th overall launch from Spaceport America.

The sub-orbital sounding rocket launch is part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, which is designed to provide suborbital payload launch opportunities for NASA and other government agencies, as well as for educational institutions and the private sector.


Texas Space Alliance Brings Together Governor, Commercial Space Companies

AUSTIN, TX, JULY 18, 2012 (TXA PR) – The Texas Space Alliance (TXA) and the office of the Speaker of the House are pleased to announce the meeting in Austin between Governor Rick Perry and numerous representatives of the nation’s top new commercial space firms. The TXA team brought together representatives from SpaceX, XCOR Aerospace, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), Armadillo Aerospace, NanoRacks, Celestis, and ATK Liberty to talk about the needs of Commercial Space, and what Texas can do to fully embrace and nurture this vital, fledgling new industry.


Virginia Proposal: Bury Your Dead in Space, Get a Tax Deduction

Virginia has been aggressive in coming up with tax incentives for commercial space companies to locate within the Commonwealth. The latest one not only reaches beyond the Earth but beyond the grave as well: (Cue spooky Halloween music)

Individual income tax deduction for certain purchases from space flight entities. Provides an individual income tax deduction in the amount paid for a prepaid contract entered into with a commercial space flight entity to place the taxpayer’s cremated remains in earth or lunar orbit. The deduction shall not exceed $8,000 in total and shall not exceed $2,500 in any one tax year. The bill is effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, but before January 1, 2021.

That is a summary of a bill introduced by Del. Terry G. Kilgore. The catch is that the flights must take place from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. Memorial flights from spaceports outside of Virginia are not eligible.

A Texas company, Celestis, is the only company I know of to offer these services. Celestis has launched remains into space on orbital and suborbital rockets from various spaceports over the years.

Write a Message of Tribute to Gene and Majel Roddenberry

Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry
Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry

Celestis is offering Star Trek fans the chance to write personal messages of tribute to Gene Roddenberry and his wife Majel.

Fans’ names and messages will be aboard a capsule that will launch a portion of the couple’s ashes into deep space in 2012.

To honor the Star Trek creator and his wife on their voyage to the final frontier, please visit this website.

Celestis is a Texas-based company that offers memorial flights to space. It has launched the ashes of people both famous and not on suborbital flights, orbital voyages, and to the moon.

Titanic Explorer Among Those on Celestis Memorial Flight

Ralph White
Ralph White


Award-winning cinematographer Ralph White, who documented the wreck of the Titanic, will be among 16 people who will have their ashes launched into space on May 2.

UP Aerospace’s Spaceloft XL suborbital rocket will carry the remains to an altitude of 70 miles above New Mexico’s Spaceport America. The payload will land by parachute for recovery.


STARFLEET, Celestis Team Up for Roddenberry Space Memorial Flight


STARFLEET, the oldest U.S.-based Star Trekâ„¢ and science fiction fan organization with thousands of members worldwide, announced today a partnership with Space Services Inc., an aerospace company based in Houston, Texas.

A leader in public participation spaceflight, Space Services is a company whose heritage encompasses nearly 30 years of leadership in private sector space missions and applications. Space Services’ affiliate company, Celestis, Inc., opened the space frontier to post cremation memorials in 1997 with the Founders Flight, sending 24 flight capsules into Earth orbit aboard a Pegasus rocket.


Roddenberrys to Rocket into Final Frontier Together

Ashes of “Star Trek” creator and wife rocketing to deep space
AFP (via Space Daily)

Ashes of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and his actress wife will blast toward the far reaches of the cosmos in keeping with the show’s famed opening line “Space, the final frontier.”

Majel Roddenberry died in December, two months before her 77th birthday, and will posthumously fulfill a “dream of journeying through space with her husband,” according to Celestis Inc, the US company behind the memorial flight.

Celestis sent some of Gene Roddenberry’s ashes into orbit around the earth in a premier Founders Flight rocket launch in 1997.