Frequently Asked Questions
When is the next launch?
Are friends and family permitted to view the launch?
What if I am unable to attend the launch? Is there a video record available?
Can I track Earth-orbiting spacecraft?
How are cremated remains launched?
Why launch only a symbolic portion?
How long will the cremated remains stay in Earth orbit?
Does the service create orbital debris pollution?
Space launches are challenging. What if the orbit is not achieved?
Can you recommend any resources for dealing with the loss of my pet?
Yes. Celestis Pets 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 launch where you can meet other attendees and share experiences.
Celestis Pets provides these services as part of all Memorial Spaceflight packages. 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.
Yes. We are often able to provide a live, global webcast 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.
Yes. Celestis Pets will provide a link after your launch to track your Earth-orbiting spacecraft in real time.
Cremated remains are placed in a specially designed, individual flight module or capsule which contains one gram of cremated remains. These capsules are then integrated into Celestis spacecraft, attached to the rocket, and launched into space.
Celestis Pets launches a symbolic portion of the cremated remains as a memorial service, not final disposition of 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 while still assuring performance.
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 webpage after its launch.
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.
In the event the mission is not achieved, you will have the option for a priority re-flight, at no additional cost, on the next scheduled launch of the same service type.
We recommend the following online resources:
Coping with the Death of a Pet - Understanding Pet Loss Grief
Pet Memorials at Home: A Guide to Logistics and Legalities for Memorializing Your Pets
9 Loving Ideas to Honor a Beloved Pet That Has Passed Away
Helping a Child Cope -- the Death of a Pet
Pet Grieving: How Pets Mourn the Loss of a Companion
How Long After the Death of My Dog Should I Wait to Get Another Dog?