This was our fifth Earth Rise mission and twelfth overall memorial spaceflight. We once again launched aboard an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL launch vehicle from Spaceport America, New Mexico. The spacecraft flew to an altitude of 73.9 miles (118.9 kilometers) and returned to Earth, landing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico approximately 23 miles (37 kilometers) downrange. The Centennial Flight was named in honor of the 100th anniversary of New Mexico's statehood.
Celestis joins with our client families from 20 nations in celebrating - with this Centennial Flight mission - the successful launch of more than 1,000 Celestis Flight capsules into space over the course of our company's history.
Each Centennial Flight participant is memorialized on our website with a biography and photo that remains on our site in perpetuity.
Honored aboard this mission were: greatly admired Hatch, New Mexico Mayor Judd Nordyke, who was an early advocate for Spaceport America; Candy Johnson, an American dancer who appeared in several of the Frankie Avalon 'Beach Party' films of the 1960s, thrilling audiences with her highly energetic dance style; Johnson's sister, Gayle Johns; and Maria Swan who was crowned "Miss World Argentina" in 1967 and became Argentina's first female airline pilot.
The people on board our missions come from a wide variety of backgrounds: Each has a special story. We invite you to read the biographies of the Centennial Flight participants.
Centennial Flight family members were invited to participate in our launch-related events at Spaceport America, which included: a tour of mission control, the launch pad and Spaceport America; a non-sectarian memorial service for all of those on board the mission (see video of the memorial service); and viewing of the launch.
Each participant's dream of spaceflight was fulfilled as we launched a symbolic portion of each participant's cremated remains into space. The cremated remains were returned to Earth and were recovered.
Each family will receive the flown space capsule or module -- with the cremated remains still inside -- as a keepsake. Families will also receive a video of the launch and related activities, as well as a Launch Certificate.
Finally, here are link to just some of the many news media articles about the Centennial Flight: