do so many aerospace professionals select Celestis Memorial Spaceflights
for their cremation memorial service?
Unlike more traditional cremation options such as
sea scattering of ashes, the Celestis service offers a direct link
to space exploration and provides a uniquely compelling tribute
for a life spent in the aerospace industry.
From astronauts to engineers, academics, entrepreneurs,
visionaries, launch operators, and pilots – Celestis Memorial
Spaceflight participants span all elements of aerospace.
See below to view the biographies of several
aerospace professionals who have selected a space funeral provided
An aviation pioneer whose
aircraft design career spanned the era from biplanes
to rockets, Benson Hamlin was the principal designer
of the preliminary concept for the Bell X-1, the
first supersonic aircraft, now on display in the Smithsonian
National Air & Space Museum. Mr. Hamlin's historic
achievement was recognized in 1993 when he was awarded
the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics'
prestigious Aircraft Design Award. While at Bell he
also designed extremely sophisticated microwave missile-guided
systems before the days of solid-state electronics.
His forty year aerospace engineering career began at
Chance-Vought Aircraft Corporation in Connecticut. Throughout
his career, his desire to acquire greater knowledge,
experience, and expertise in his field led him to airplane
companies such as Bell Aircraft in Buffalo, New York.
Mareta N. West was the first woman astrogeologist -- a geologist of other worlds.
In fact, she was the lunar geologist at NASA who determined
the crucial landing site on the moon for Apollo
She was truly a pioneer. In the 1940s, she was the
first female consulting geologist in the Oklahoma City
area, being described by The Daily Oklahoman
as a "feminine fossil finder." She was the
first woman geologist to be hired by the U.S. Geological
Survey in Arizona. She was the only woman on NASA's
Geology Experiment Team for Apollo 11. While at NASA
she participated in the evaluation and selection of
landing sites on other worlds. These landing sites were
for manned and unmanned missions to the moon, and for
unmanned missions to Mars. Read
One of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, L. Gordon Cooper, Jr. was an American
hero and a true space pioneer who helped lead America
into the Space Age.
"Gordo" Cooper became a leading celebrity
of the new Space Age when he was selected as one of
the Mercury 7 astronauts in April 1959. In May 1963
he piloted the Faith 7 spacecraft on the Mercury 9 mission
– the last of the Project Mercury missions. In
August 1965 he commanded the Gemini 5 mission, where
he and astronaut Charles Conrad set a new space endurance
record at the time, orbiting Earth for approximately
eight days. The mission demonstrated that astronauts
could survive trips to the Moon and back. This flight
also made Gordo the first human to fly on two missions
on Earth orbit. Additionally, Gordo served as a backup
astronaut for the Gemini 12 and Apollo 10 missions.
All told, Gordo logged 222 hours in space. Gordo left
NASA and retired from the Air Force as a colonel in
1970. Read more...