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Launch occurred
May 2, 2009 from
Spaceport America,
New Mexico, but did not reach space.


View launch-related videos
View launch photos

Read more about the launch at our
Ralph White
Famed Titanic explorer
Ralph White was a
participant on board
The Discovery Flight.
View the Discovery Flight Video
Official Flight Video
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SpaceLoft XL rocket, manufacturer
Up Aerospace
(Click to enlarge)


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Discovery Flight
mission patch

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Launch of The Discovery Flight

The eighth Celestis Memorial Spaceflight - The Discovery Flight - was launched May 2, 2009 from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Launch services were provided by UP Aerospace aboard a SpaceLoft XL rocket. However, an anomaly occurred during ascent and the spacecraft did not reach space.

The Discovery Flight - the second Celestis Earthrise mission - was dedicated to the spirit of our mission participants and to people everywhere who share the passion for exploration and discovery. Among the "discoverers" honored aboard this mission was Ralph White, fabled undersea explorer/cinematographer and, in 1985, co-discoverer of the wreckage of the RMS Titanic. Read the stories of Discovery Flight participants.

The launch was intended to place a symbolic portion of the cremated remains of flight participants into space on a suborbital trajectory similar to NASA's early Mercury manned spaceflights in the 1960s. The Earth Rise service launches flight capsules and modules into space and returns them to Earth via parachute recovery. Once recovered the Celestis capsules and modules are returned to family members and loved ones, providing them with a flown keepsake.

Videos from The Discovery Flight

Celestis Legacy Launch Video
The Discovery Launch Clip

Watch launch footage of The Discovery Flight aboard the SpaceLoft XL SL-3 launch vehicle on May 2, 2009.

View The Official Discovery Flight Video
Official Discovery Flight Video

Watch the Official Video of the Discover Flight Launch (2009) at the Spaceport America, New Mexico.

View all Discovery Flight videos

Photos from The Discovery Flight

Discovery Flight launch pad tour, May 1, 2009, Spaceport America, New Mexico.
UP Aerospace President Jerry Larson and Celestis President Charles Chafer answer questions from family and friends of those on board The Discovery Flight.
Discovery Flight Commemorative Collection
The Discovery Flight Commemorative Collection only at the Celestis Store.
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