Imagine it: A crowd shouts 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... blastoff! Rocket engines rumble and roar. A fire blazes underneath a spacecraft that leaves the ground and ascends into the stratosphere. Family and friends cheer for their dearly departed, who are on their way into space.
Those who choose Celestis Memorial Spaceflight know that their loved ones have fulfilled a dream to go where few have gone before in the company of others who shared their fascination with space, their love of the cosmos or their desire to leave this world boundless.
Since 1994, Celestis has launched the ashes of loved ones into near-space and beyond, now available from Dignity Memorial® funeral homes and cemeteries.
People who’ve chosen this singular form of remembrance include restaurant owners, accountants, teachers, military veterans, sci-fi buffs and others. It's open to anyone, and it's a remarkable way to celebrate a life.
“When we pass away from this life, with all of its turmoil and all of its hassles, we want to go to a place of perfect peace—and I can think of no place better than going into Earth’s orbit,” astronaut Winston Scott told a group of families at a Celestis gala in 2019.
Perhaps you or your loved one would agree.
How to send ashes into space
A Celestis Memorial Spaceflight is a memorable way for family and friends to say a final farewell to a loved one.
In the video below, families who've been through the experience share what it's like.
There are four options for you or your loved one to be part of the payload of a spaceflight, all of which operate in compliance with all international U.S. treaties and regulations:
- Earth Rise: Ashes are sent into space and then returned to the family as a keepsake. Cost: $2,495
- Earth Orbit: A personalized flight capsule carries ashes into orbit. The capsule may circle the Earth for decades, re-entering the atmosphere at some point and harmlessly vaporizing like a shooting star. Celestis can predict when that re-entry will occur and notify your family. Cost: $4,995
- Luna: A personalized flight capsule carries ashes to the Earth's moon, where they are placed on the surface of the moon's near side—the side that we always see from Earth. They will remain there forever. Cost: $12,500
- Voyager: A personalized flight capsule containing ashes is sent into an eternal flight to deep space. Cost: $12,500
No matter which option you choose, your family is invited to a launchpad tour, where you can see the rocket that will take the ashes into space up close and take photos if you wish. There you will meet families from all over the world who are also sending their loved ones on a spaceflight.
When you purchase a Celestis Memorial Spaceflight through a Dignity Memorial provider, your loved one's ashes will leave from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, or Spaceport America, New Mexico.
Only one-quarter teaspoon of a loved one's ashes is sent into space. What you do with the remainder of your loved one's ashes is up to you. You can choose to:
- Keep them at home
- Memorialize them at a cemetery
- Scatter them someplace special
- Have them made into jewelry or another keepsake
If you don't already know what you'd like to do, your funeral director can help you decide.
Plan ahead to be launched into space
The best way to ensure your spot on a rocket is to pre-plan your cremation and memorial flight. When you plan in advance with Dignity Memorial, you protect against future price increases, reduce the financial and emotional burdens on your family, and ensure your wishes are honored.
To learn more about Celestis, go to Celestis.com and then talk to your funeral advisor about memorial spaceflight services.