Celestis

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This article is about the company. For the city, see Jerusalem

Celestis is a company that launches cremated human remains into space, a procedure known as a space burial. It is an affiliate company of Space Services Inc.[1] The company purchases launches as a secondary payload on various rockets, and launches samples of many people's cremated remains on one launch. Launching an individual's entire cremated remains (which weigh between four to eight pounds)[2] would be prohibitively expensive for most people, so Celestis launches 1 gram or 7 gram samples of cremated remains so as to provide an affordable service.[3]

Celestis has flown a number of notable participants over the years. Its first flight -- The Founders Flight -- carried cremated remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry[4] and 1960s icon Timothy Leary[5] into Earth orbit. Also on board were remains of physicist and space visionary Gerard K. O'Neill,[6] noted rocket scientist Krafft A. Ehricke,[7] and 20 others.[8] Dr. Eugene Shoemaker—a famous planetary geologist and co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 -- was launched to the moon on NASA's Lunar Prospector mission in 1998: Celestis helped friends of Dr. Shoemaker include a sample of his cremated remains on that mission.[9] Mercury 7 astronaut L. Gordon Cooper,[10] Star Trek actor James Doohan ("Mr. Scott"),[11] and a host of others from various walks of life were launched on board The Legacy Flight in 2007.[12] Titanic explorer Ralph White was on board the Discovery[13] and Pioneer[14] flights.

Family members and friends of flight participants usually can attend the launch. Celestis usually arranges for a tour of the launch facility and hosts a non-sectarian memorial service prior to the launch.[3] Celestis also helps people prearrange their own memorial spaceflights for the future.[15]

Missions[edit]

Launch date/time (GMT)RocketFlight nameOrbitNotable individualsRemarks
21 April 1997, 11:59Pegasus-XLFounders[16]Earth orbitBeauford Franklin, Rocket Scientist
Gene Roddenberry, writer
Gerard O'Neill, physicist
Krafft Ehricke, rocket scientist
Timothy Leary, psychologist, writer
Reached Earth orbit; Reentered atmosphere May 20, 2002
7 January 1998, 02:29AthenaLuna-01[16]LunarEugene Merle Shoemaker, astronomerAttached to Lunar Prospector
Landed[citation needed] 31 July 1999
10 February 1998, 13:20TaurusAd Astra[16]Earth orbitReached Earth orbit; Still on orbit
21 December 1999, 07:13TaurusMillennial[16]Earth orbitCharles Oren Bennett, illustratorReached Earth orbit; Still on orbit
21 September 2001, 18:49TaurusOdyssey[16]Earth orbitFailed to reach orbit
28 April 2007, 14:56SpaceLoft XLLegacyEarthrise (suborbital)Gordon Cooper, astronaut
James Doohan, Star Trek actor
Reached space and returned to Earth, as planned
3 August 2008, 03:34Falcon 1ExplorersEarth orbitGordon Cooper, astronaut
James Doohan, Star Trek actor
Failed to reach orbit[17]
2 May 2009, 14:00SpaceLoft XLDiscoveryEarthrise (suborbital)Ralph White, explorer[18]Failed to reach space[19][20]
4 May 2010, 12:41SpaceLoft XLPioneerEarthrise (suborbital)Ralph white. explorer[21]Reached space and returned to Earth, as planned
20 May 2011, 13:21SpaceLoft XLGoddardEarthrise (suborbital)Reached space and returned to Earth, as planned
22 May 2012, 07:44Falcon 9New Frontier[22]Earth orbitGordon Cooper, astronaut
James Doohan, Star Trek actor
Reached orbit, on a canister attached to the Falcon 9 launch vehicle's second stage.[23] As such, it is on a rapidly decaying orbital trajectory that will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere in about a year's time.[23] It carried the ashes of 308 people, 1-gram per person.[24]
21 June 2013, 11:57SpaceLoft XLCentennial[25]Earthrise (suborbital)Candy Johnson, entertainerReached space and returned to Earth, as planned

Future flights[edit]

In 2014 a memorial service for the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Star Trek's "Nurse Chapel," the voice of the computer on board the fictional starship Enterprise, and Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, will fly with her late husband Gene Roddenberry together, "on an infinite journey into deep space aboard their Voyager Memorial Spaceflight Service...will carry their spirits, their memories, and the message of their life’s work into the cosmos." -Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry II.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Launch ashes - Space burial - Space funeral - Cremation memorials". Celestis.com. 1 January 1995. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Cremation Process: Step by Step". Cremationassociation.org. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Launch ashes - Space burial - Space funeral - Cremation memorials". Celestis.com. 1 January 1995. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Participants on board The Founders Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Participants on board The Founders Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Participants on board The Founders Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Participants on board The Founders Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Celestis Memorial Spaceflights - The Founders Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Launch ashes - Space burial - Space funeral - Cremation memorials". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "Participants on board The Legacy Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Participants on board The Legacy Flight". Celestis.com. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "The founders of Celestis bring you: Space Services Inc. - Memorial Spaceflights". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Participants on board The Discovery Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Participants on board The Pioneer Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Launch ashes - Space burial - Space funeral - Cremation memorials". Celestis.com. 1 January 1995. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "Launch manifest". Celestis. 
  17. ^ Bergin, Chris (August 2, 2008). "SpaceX Falcon I fails during first stage flight". NASASpaceflight.com. 
  18. ^ "Ralph Bradshaw White". The Discovery Flight. Celestis. Retrieved 2 May 2009. 
  19. ^ "Officials Praise NM Rocket Launch". KOAT. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2009. 
  20. ^ "Rocket falls short of altitude goal at space port". KVIA.com. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2009. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Celestis Memorial Spaceflights - The Pioneer Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  22. ^ "The New Frontier Memorial Spaceflight". Celestis. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  23. ^ a b Associated Press (2012-05-22). "Star Trek's "Scotty" finally launched into space". CBS News (New York). Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  24. ^ Moskowitz, Clara (2012-05-22). "Ashes of Star Trek's 'Scotty' Ride Private Rocket Into Space". Space.com (New York). Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  25. ^ "Celestis Memorial Spaceflights - The Centennial Flight". Celestis.com. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Celestis Voyager Flight Participants". Celestis.com. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 

External links[edit]