Memorial Spaceflights

Luna 01 Flight

The first Celestis Luna memorial spaceflight, The Luna 01 Flight, was launched into space at 9:28 pm EST January 6, 1998.

About The Luna 01 Flight

A mission of purpose, a dream fulfilled.

Launch Experience

Witness the power and grandeur of a launch into space.

Honored Participants

Read about the participants aboard the Luna 01 Flight.

Testimonials

Hear first hand impressions from Celestis launch guests.

Moon image from the Apollo mission

About the Luna 01 Flight

Celestis provided its first Luna Service mission by helping friends of noted planetary geologist Dr. Eugene Shoemaker include a symbolic portion of Dr. Shoemaker's cremated remains on the NASA Lunar Prospector mission launched January 6, 1998 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The spacecraft impacted the lunar surface inside a permanently shadowed crater near the south lunar pole, creating a permanent monument to Dr. Shoemaker. Impact occurred at 4:52 a.m. CDT (9:52 a.m. GMT), July 31, 1999.

Lunar Prospector was one of the most productive, least expensive space missions. Part of NASA's Discovery Program, Lunar Prospector served as a follow-on to the successful Clementine mission of 1994. In 1994, the Clementine spacecraft orbiting the Moon made observations that indicated the presence of water ice on the lunar surface. On March 5, 1998, it was announced that Lunar Prospector had also found evidence suggesting the presence of water ice at both lunar poles.

The presence of water ice on the Moon would facilitate future attempts at lunar colonization. How fitting that Dr. Eugene Shoemaker participated in one last experiment -- an experiment that could benefit our future in space.

Luna Service #1

Celestis Memorial Spaceflight: #2
Mission Name: Luna 01 Flight
Mission Status: Launched Successfully
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
Launch Date: 1998-01-06

Launch Experience: Lunar Prospector

Lunar Prospector was one of the most productive, least expensive space missions. Part of NASA's Discovery Program, Lunar Prospector served as a follow-on to the successful Clementine mission of 1994. In 1994, the Clementine spacecraft orbiting the Moon made observations that indicated the presence of water ice on the lunar surface. On March 5, 1998, it was announced that Lunar Prospector had also found evidence suggesting the presence of water ice at both lunar poles.

The presence of water ice on the Moon would facilitate future attempts at lunar colonization. How fitting that Dr. Eugene Shoemaker participated in one last experiment -- an experiment that could benefit our future in space.

Memorial Service
"It was legend in the planetary science community that Gene had always wanted to go to the moon as an Apollo astronaut…I felt this was Gene’s last chance, and that it would be a fitting and beautiful tribute." - Dr. Carolyn Porco, colleague of Dr. Eugene Shoemaker.
The Story
Celestis Co-Founder Charles M. Chafer received a call from his friend NASA Chief of Staff Ed Heffernan in the Fall of 1998 with a request. Would Celestis consider offering its services to assist a group of legendary scientist Dr. Eugene Shoemaker’s colleagues and students who wish to honor him by placing a portion of his cremated remains aboard the NASA Prospector mission bound for the Moon?

Heffernan explained that NASA Administrator Dan Goldin had received a message from Dr. Shoemaker’s colleagues and students with this request and while NASA would not directly accommodate the request, they would cooperate with Celestis if Celestis (Heffernan, Chafer, Clinton, Compton photo)

The mission was important – the first return to the Moon by NASA since the Apollo missions, twenty-five years earlier –NASA announced the presence of Dr. Shoemaker’s ashes on Prospector on the day of the first launch attempt. News coverage mentioned Celestis as the service provider.
Launch Day
Lunar Prospector was launched on a Lockheed-Martin Athena II rocket. The first launch attempt for Prospector – Jan 5, 1998 – was scrubbed due to range radar issue. The issue was resolved the next day and launch re-scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 7th local time from Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral, FL. The Athena had been thoroughly reviewed and tested following an earlier launch failure.

Liftoff occurred at 9:29 pm Eastern time and Prospector orbited the Earth for a little more than an hour before an attached rocket motor fired and the TLI (trans lunar injection) maneuver was completed – Prospector began its 4 ½ day journey to the
moon.

Honored Participants

ABOARD THE LUNA 01 FLIGHT

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Lunar_Prospector_Mission_Logo.png

Luna 01 Flight Mission Logo

The Luna 01 Flight – As with the Founders Flight, Celestis did not produce a unique mission logo for this mission.  The NASA developed logo features the Lunar Prospector spacecraft, highlighting the program manager role played by the NASA Ames Research Center for this Discovery class mission.

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