Memorial Spaceflights

Pioneer Flight

Celestis is pleased to announce the launch of Celestis 09, the Pioneer Flight, launched May 4, 2010 from Spaceport America, near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

About The Pioneer 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 Pioneer Flight.


Hear first hand impressions from Celestis launch guests.

Liftoff of the Pioneer Flight

About the Pioneer Flight

This flight was an Earth Rise (suborbital) mission and was launched aboard an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle. We were pleased to work with the primary sponsor of the mission, the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, by providing matching funds that assisted students to launch their experiments into space.

Aboard the Pioneer Flight were flight capsules and modules of over 19 people from the US, China, Taiwan, and Great Britain. The capsules and modules containing cremated remains were returned to the families of Pioneer Flight participants. As always we welcomed friends, family members, and others as our special guests for a launch pad tour, launch viewing, and memorial activities.

Earth Rise Service

Mission Name: Pioneer Flight
Launch Location: Spaceport America, NM
Launch Date: May 4, 2010

Honored Participants


View All Participants

Pioneer Flight Mission Logo

The Pioneer Flight - The Pioneer Flight mission logo features the mythological Chinese bird – Fenghuang - known to the western world as the Phoenix.  Fenghuang is said to live a thousand years, die, and then be reborn from its ashes.  This mission adds Space Desire Services of Hong Kong as a full mission partner and the logo honors that status.  The UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket rising in the background reinforces the notion of flight and rebirth among the stars.

The Pioneer Flight logo is from well-known designer and illustrator Eric Gignac. Eric’s portfolio also includes co-design of NASA Space Shuttle mission patches for the STS 128 and 133 missions.

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