FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2011
Contact: Richard Braastad, Celestis, Inc., 713-524-2568 x
NOTE: Launch photo and B-roll available by 3:30 pm EDT today
REMAINS SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED INTO SPACE, RETURNED TO
Inc., a subsidiary of Space Services, Inc. (Houston, Texas),
announced today the successful launch of its latest Memorial
Spaceflight - The Goddard Flight - carrying cremated
remains into space, and returning them to Earth, aboard a
SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle developed by UP Aerospace of Highlands
Ranch, Colorado. Launch occurred at approximately 7:21 am
Mountain Daylight Time (9:21 am EDT, 1:21 pm GMT) from Spaceport
America in New Mexico.
The Goddard Flight is dedicated to the spirit of
our mission participants and to people everywhere who share
the passion for exploration and discovery.
honored aboard this mission was Leonard Majeske, a NASA
aerospace engineer who worked for rocket pioneer Werner Von
Braun. Also on board was Brenda Jean Sartor, a mechanical
engineer who suffered from muscular dystrophy. Although her
physical limitations kept her from realizing her dream of
becoming a NASA employee, her desire to become an astronaut
never wavered: Her dying wish was to send part of her cremated
remains into space.
The Goddard Flight launched a symbolic portion of
the cremated remains of Majeske, Sartor and other flight participants
into space on a spaceflight
trajectory similar to NASA's early Mercury manned missions
in the 1960s: This "Earth
Rise Service" mission launched flight capsules and
modules into space and returned them to Earth via parachute.
The UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle that performed
this mission is a single stage rocket capable of carrying
110 pounds (50 kilograms) into space, 70 miles (113 kilometers)
above the surface of the earth.
Once recovered the Celestis capsules and modules will be
returned to family members and loved ones, providing them
with a flown keepsake. In addition to its Earth Rise Service,
Celestis also offers missions into Earth orbit, to the Moon,
and into deep space.
"The people who participate in our various missions
all shared in the dream of exploring the great unknown,"
said Charles Chafer, CEO of Celestis. "With Celestis,
the dream of spaceflight, and the desire to take part in the
opening of the space frontier can be realized - and is available
to everyone. Further, the dramatic breakthrough in the cost
to reach space presented by the SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle
has allowed Celestis to offer the lowest-priced memorial spaceflight
ever - our Earth Rise Service."
The primary payload on board the SpaceLoft XL was a set of
education experiments from students ranging from elementary
school through college. "We were pleased to work with
the primary sponsor of the mission, the New Mexico Space Grant
Consortium," Chafer said, "by providing matching
funds that assisted students to launch their experiments into
"UP Aerospace is honored to have been chosen by Celestis
to provide the launch of their Earth Rise Service," said
Jerry Larson, President of UP Aerospace, Inc. "Our long
term commitments with Spaceport America and Celestis are essential
elements that are enabling huge growth of this new emerging
commercialization of space industry."
About Space Services Inc. and Celestis Inc.
The Space Services Inc. (SSI) team made history over 25 years
ago with the launch of Conestoga 1, the first private
rocket to reach outer space, opening the space arena to private
enterprise. The founders of SSI and Celestis also pioneered
post cremation memorial spaceflights in 1997 - the Celestis
Memorial Spaceflight Services - with the launch into space
of a symbolic portion of the cremated remains of Star
Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 60's pop icon Timothy
Leary and 24 others. Working with NASA, they also placed Dr.
Eugene Shoemaker's cremated remains on the lunar surface,
symbolically making Dr. Shoemaker the first person to be buried
on the Moon. Celestis is offering its space funeral services
to people around the world.
For more information visit Celestis.com,