Memorial Spaceflights

How It Works

Whether you select a Celestis Memorial Spaceflight for yourself or a loved one, you can be assured that the entire process is handled with care, dignity, and professionalism by our staff and partners. 

We have an unmatched record of more than twenty years experience as the pioneer and only proven provider of Memorial Spaceflight services.

Obtaining the Flight Sample

At the time of need, a Flight Sample Kit is mailed by Celestis to either your funeral service provider or the Primary Contact designated by the contract (purchaser’s decision). The Kit includes complete instructions and all tools necessary to obtain a portion of cremated remains or DNA sample for launch.

The completed sample is returned to Celestis via Express Mail in a shipping container included in the Flight Sample Kit.

Storage and Transfer of the Flight Sample

The process is simple and completed with the utmost respect and care. Once received, the flight sample is logged in, stored in a bank safe deposit box, and an acknowledgement of receipt is returned to the contract's Primary Contact.

A licensed funeral director assists Celestis staff in transferring the flight sample into individual Flight Capsules. A portion of the cremated remains or DNA sample is carefully placed inside a permanently sealed, individual Flight Capsule. The entire process is recorded and photographed, and the capsules are made ready for the Launch Service Provider’s payload integration process.

Celestis flight capsules and modules
Engraved Celestis flight capsules and modules

Integration of Celestis Flight Capsules

The Celestis Payload (all of the Flight Capsules scheduled for a particular mission) is transported to the payload integration location – usually either the vehicle/satellite manufacturing facility or the launch site operations center of the Launch Service Provider.

The Flight Capsules are attached by Launch Service Provider personnel to the satellite or launch vehicle host and otherwise made ready for flight.   This process is observed by Celestis, documented, and photographed within the constraints of US Government and individual launch service provider regulations.

Once ready for flight, the Celestis Payload is monitored and access is limited to authorized personnel only.

A Surrey Engineer integrates Heritage Flight participant capsules
A Surrey engineer integrates Heritage Flight participant capsules and modules to the vessel that will carry them on the OTB.

Communication and Launch Information

An important and meaningful part of every mission is the posting of Participant Biographies on this website. Our staff works with you to produce a fitting tribute.

You or your family will receive regular updates via e-mail, newsletter, and on this website concerning preparations for the launch event.

Our experienced and dedicated customer service team is always available to assist and support.

Celestis Customer Service

Memorial and Launch Events

Pre launch events organized by Celestis include – as available – private tours of the vehicle/satellite manufacturing facility and launch facility.

A multi-day launch event is organized and offered by Celestis for every launch. Included are mixers and pre-launch briefings, tours, and a memorial service in advance of launch day. Launches are well attended, affording the opportunity for shared experiences with others from around the world.

On launch day families gather at the liftoff site to share the experience of seeing their loved ones’ dreams of spaceflight realized. With a roar and a fiery streak across the sky, the rocket lifts its precious load higher and higher into the peaceful solitude of space.

The launch and surrounding activities are webcast for those unable to attend to view and participate in the Memorial Spaceflight service.


Post Launch

After a successful launch, Celestis provides a professionally produced video download of the entire event to the participant’s family or designee.

For Earth Rise missions, the flown Flight Capsule is returned as a keepsake. All missions provide a certificate of Mission Success.

Celestis scatters the unflown cremated remains from the Flight Sampling Kits, conducted and certified by a licensed funeral director in accordance with local regulations, near the launch site.

Guests witness the Pioneer Flight launch
Guests witness the Pioneer Flight launch at Spaceport America, New Mexico.
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