Frequently Asked Questions
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When is the next launch?
Our next Earth Orbit mission is scheduled for launch in Q4 2014, our next Luna Service mission in 2015-2016, and our first deep space misson in 2016.
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where we keep you informed of the latest launch news.
Are friends and family permitted to view the launch?
Yes. Celestis will
host family members and friends at a special facility we create for
launch viewing. An on-site memorial service will be conducted in advance
of the viewing opportunity where friends and families can meet other
attendees and share their experiences.
provides these services as part of the Memorial Spaceflight service
package. Travel, lodging, and all incidental costs are borne by
the attendees. Celestis provides these services on a “best
efforts” basis, as launch schedules and launch site security
status are beyond our control. We work closely with all attendees
to keep them fully informed of the launch status.
What if I am unable to attend the launch: Is there
a video record available?
Yes. We are often
able to provide a live, global Web cast of the launch, and in all
cases we produce a video of the launch and related memorial service.
A copy of the video is included in the Memorial Spaceflight service
package. Additional copies are available at a nominal fee.
Can I track the Celestis Earth-orbiting
Yes. Click here
to view the location of any of the Earth-orbiting Celestis memorial
spacecraft in real time.
How are the cremated remains actually launched?
The remains are placed in
a specially designed, individual flight module or capsule which contains
either seven grams or one gram of cremated remains, depending upon
the service you selected. They are then integrated into the Celestis
spacecraft, which is attached to the rocket and launched into space.
Why launch only a symbolic portion?
We offer the launch of
a symbolic portion of the cremated remains as a memorial service,
not final disposition of all the remains, because although dramatic
progress is being made by entrepreneurs in reducing launch costs,
spaceflight is still quite expensive. By launching a portion we
can offer an affordable service, and also can provide performance
We will arrange for final disposition of the balance
of the cremated remains through a sea scattering service, should
you so desire.
How long will the cremated remains stay in Earth
The length of orbital stay depends
on the final altitude of the primary satellite launched on the mission
(a memorial spacecraft is a “secondary payload” aboard
each mission). For example, the orbital life span for our Celestis
satellites ranged from five weeks to several hundred years. The
anticipated orbital lifetime for each mission is posted on the dedicated
flight Web page, after its launch.
Does the service create orbital debris pollution?
Celestis spacecraft are
carefully designed so as not to create orbital debris. Each spacecraft
stays permanently attached to a rocket stage that orbits Earth until
the spacecraft harmlessly re-enters and is completely consumed by
Earth’s atmosphere — blazing like a shooting star in
final tribute to the passengers aboard.
For missions that are launched aboard a commercially
purchased launcher, the Office of Commercial Space Transportation,
Federal Aviation Administration issues a license which verifies
that the Celestis payload does not contribute to orbital debris.
For missions not subject to FAA approval, Celestis voluntarily follows
the same guidelines which prevent orbital pollution from its missions.
Space launches are challenging. What if the orbit
is not achieved?
In the event that the Celestis
Earth Orbit Service spacecraft
does not achieve orbit, we will — at no additional cost —
place a second sample of the cremated remains aboard our next scheduled
I want to be certain that my
wishes are carried out. Can I plan my service in advance?
Yes, you may select our
Advance Planning Programs which
offer you the opportunity to make an advance reservation for the Celestis
Memorial Spaceflight service.
of our clients writes, “Thanks again for everything. You all
did a fantastic job, and added to the special memories we have of
our loved ones.”