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Home Page The Goddard Flight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2011
Contact: Richard Braastad, Celestis, Inc., 713-524-2568 x 227, media@spaceservicesinc.com

NOTE: Launch photo and B-roll available by 3:30 pm EDT today at Celestis.com/press.asp

CREMATED REMAINS SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED INTO SPACE, RETURNED TO EARTH

Launch photoCelestis, 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.

Among those 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 space."

"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, LaunchNM.com, UPAerospace.us.com, and SpaceportAmerica.com

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