- Memorial Spaceflight Service
- First launch
Celestis, a subsidiary of Houston-based aerospace company Space Services (founded 1981), offers an array of options for those who want to launch human remains in space. And these voyages range in price, depending on how far in the celestial heavens you want to go.
From 1987's book "Space 2000: Meeting the Challenge of a New Era": Two groups of morticians have signed contracts with a private launching firm, Space Services, lnc., to launch aspace mausoleum to bury people's remains in space. Ashes produced in the usual way are further reduced in volume and are placed in capsules measuring one centimeter by three centimeters. When thirteen thousand of these are collected, they are put into a satellite and launched into orbit. The satellite is coated with reflective material so descendants can see it easily. The cost is $3,900 per funeral, not outrageously high.
Conducted history’s first memorial spaceflight in 1997. On this historic mission, the company launched a portion of the cremated remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Princeton physicist Gerard K. O’Neill, 1960s icon Timothy Leary, and 21 others into space aboard a Pegasus rocket from Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The mission was covered by media around the world including a live global broadcast by CNN and lead stories in all major news outlets.
The Heritage Flight, will carry more than 200 participants to orbit housed aboard the Surrey Satellite Technologies US OTB-1 satellite. OTB-1 (Orbital Test Bed 1) will be launched by a Falcon Heavy rocket - the largest rocket on the planet - from legendary Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
The first Vulcan rocket will launch ashes of Star Trek actors, fans and more into space. And yes, this first Vulcan mission is also nicknamed "Enterprise," in honor of the famous Trek starships. It will carry 150 capsules containing the cremains or DNA of Trek or space fans, including those of the series' creator and "First Family" of Star Trek.
"We're very pleased to be fulfilling, with this mission, a promise I made to [actor] Majel Barrett Roddenberry in 1997 that one day we would fly her and husband/Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry together on a deep space memorial spaceflight," Charles Chafer, Celestis CEO and co-founder, said in a statement.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Space Services is the world leader for commercial space missions. Since 1981, Space Services' list of firsts is unmatched and includes the world's first ever private rocket launch, the Conestoga 1. Today, Space Services is consistently profiled among the leaders of the emerging “new space” age.
Space Services Inc. of America (SSIA), the heritage company of today’s Space Services, was founded in 1981 by Houston real estate developer David Hannah, Jr. More than 50 investors, including many fellow Texans, joined him to pursue the promise of opening space to the free market.
- The first agreement with NASA to use a national range for commercial launches at Wallops Island, Virginia;
- The first NASA purchase of a commercial launch service, the Consort/Starfire series;
- Creation of the first commercial imagery company, Space America;
- The first application to the Federal Communications Commission to establish a low earth orbit network of communications satellites.