Launch of The Discovery Flight
The eighth Celestis Memorial Spaceflight - The
Discovery Flight - was launched May 2, 2009
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.