Celestis’ ninth suborbital Earthrise Service, the Aurora Flight, is scheduled to launch from Spaceport America near Las Cruces, New Mexico, aboard an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft™ XL rocket on Wednesday, November 30th. Celestis’ Earthrise Service may be our most intimate, deeply felt experience. First, guests at our three-day launch event are treated to a tour of UP Aerospace’s facilities at Spaceport America; in addition, they are also treated to a launch pad tour and can view the launch vehicle that will carry their loved ones (or DNA) into space…and back.
This experience is much different from other launches in the United States and more dynamic; in Florida’s Cape Canaveral, for example, guests can only safely view rocket launches from several miles away. At Spaceport America, guests can view the launch as close as safely possible…but don’t blink because the SpaceLoft™ XL rocket reaches Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) in a matter of seconds and space in less than a minute!
Launch attendance packages for the Aurora Flight are now on sale. Moreover, a launch event agenda has been put together, starting with registration and ending with a real-life space launch.
The Aurora Flight Launch Event Agenda (Note: all times are tentative)
Monday, November 28, from 2 to 6 p.m. Mountain time: All events check-in at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Las Cruces, New Mexico (Launch Headquarters)
Tuesday, November 29:
7:30 a.m.: Guest registration continues at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott (Launch Headquarters)
8:15 a.m.: UP Aerospace Launch Pad Tour Bus Loading at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott
8:30 a.m.: UP Aerospace Launch Pad Tour Bus Departure from the SpringHill Suites by Marriott
12:45 p.m.: Return to SpringHill Suites Launch Headquarters
3:00 p.m.: Aurora Flight memorial service at the Las Cruces Convention Center, featuring retired NASA astronaut Richard M. “Mike” Mullane
6:00 p.m.: Aurora Flight reception and pre-mission briefing at the Las Cruces Convention Center
Wednesday, November 30:
6:30 a.m.: Aurora Flight viewing site bus arrival at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott (tentative)
8:00 a.m.: Aurora Flight launch window opens at Spaceport America (estimated)
9:00 a.m.: Return to Launch Headquarters at SpringHill Suites by Marriott (estimated)
10:00 a.m.: Arrival at Launch Headquarters at SpringHill Suites by Marriott (estimated)
10:55 a.m.: End of Activities (estimated)
The Aurora Flight agenda, lodging information, frequently asked questions, and other pertinent information can also be viewed on our launch event website.
Contact us for more information or to receive launch updates
Come Fly With Us!
Launch event tickets are now available on our Aurora Flight event website, which provides access and transportation to all launch events. Not only will guests receive a tour of UP Aerospace’s facilities at Spaceport America and view a space launch in real-time as close as safely possible, but Celestis will host a non-sectarian memorial service at the Las Cruces Convention Center for the friends, family, and loved ones of all those on board the Aurora Flight. Here, you will learn about the lives and legacies of the flight participants through the words of the people closest to them and share your loved one’s story and journey to space.
In addition, retired NASA astronaut Richard M. “Mike” Mullane will speak before the memorial service to give guests an insider’s view into what spaceflight is like. Following the memorial service, you are invited to attend the Celestis Welcome Reception and meet the team that made the Aurora Flight possible.
The entire Celestis Launch Team looks forward to meeting and celebrating with you in person in New Mexico, the state described as “the cradle of modern American rocketry.”
Some of the text in this post was derived from “Celestis FAQs: Celestis Memorial Spaceflights’ Earthrise Service and the Aurora Flight” and the Aurora Flight Launch Event website.
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