Nyack, NY, April 24, 2008 – The Space Frontier Foundation supports Celestis and its upcoming memorial spaceflights to Earth Orbit and to the Moon. Celestis’ Chief Executive Officer, Charles Chafer, is a long-time Foundation Advocate.
Aboard Celestis’ Earth Orbit mission, the Explorers Flight, are 208 memorial spaceflight participants – the seventh, and largest ever such mission. Launch of the Explorers Flight is projected to occur in early June 2008 (no earlier than June 10) aboard a Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Falcon 1 launch vehicle from a site in the Marshall Islands. Updates regarding the Explorers Flight, based on the latest available information from SpaceX, are always posted in the Explorers Flight section of the Celestis web site.
From Celestis: The Explorers Flight will be launched on board a Falcon 1 rocket from the Marshall Islands, which are located in the Western Pacific. Launch is projected to occur in early June 2008 (no earlier than June 10).
As has been our practice in conducting our six previous launches, when we believe that we are approximately one month from launch we will e-mail you an invitation to the launch, providing you with a detailed agenda of our launch-related activities. Since launch delays are the norm in spaceflight, we do not issue a detailed agenda prior to this point: We do not want to inconvenience you with unnecessary planning.
We have received a few requests from family members who may wish to travel to the Marshall Islands. The island from which the rocket will be launched is very small and remote. We may view the launch from another island, or from a yacht that would be an estimated 15 miles from the island. We are investigating our options for viewing the launch, and will inform you once we have confirmed the details.
However, the majority of our families have opted not to attend the launch. Traveling to the Marshall Islands is expensive. If we charter a yacht, those who attend would also need to share in this cost. We would likely be on the yacht for at least a matter of days, if not an entire week. Furthermore, at approximately 15 miles from the launch pad, viewing the launch would be difficult, even if the weather cooperates. You can, however, see the launch live from the comfort of your home: SpaceX will provide a Web cast of the launch which we plan to show on our Web site as well. We also plan to show the launch live to those who attend the Explorers Flight memorial service.
From Celestis: Celestis has reached agreement with two companies to launch payloads containing human cremated remains to the surface of the Moon as soon as 2010. We are pleased to schedule these Luna Service missions, to extend our leadership in the commercial space industry, and – most importantly – to serve our global community of families and loved ones wishing to honor the life of a special person.
In 1998, Celestis, at the request of NASA, provided a Luna Flight Capsule to the family and friends of the late legendary astronomer and planetary geologist Dr. Eugene Shoemaker. The Celestis Flight Capsule, containing a symbolic portion of Dr. Shoemaker’s cremated remains, was attached to NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft and launched on a one year mission orbiting the Moon. On July 31, 1999, at the completion of the Lunar Prospector’s mission, the spacecraft was intentionally impacted into the Moon’s south pole, making Dr. Shoemaker the first human inhabitant to be laid to rest on another celestial body. NASA called this memorial “a special honor for a special human being.”
Through our Luna 02 and Luna 03 missions, Celestis will make this special honor available to all who share the vision of extending humanity’s reach to the stars. The two companies selected by Celestis to provide transportation to the Moon are Odyssey Moon Limited and and Astrobotic Technology, Inc.
Celestis’ Past and Future Missions
From Celestis: Celestis has a proud, 11 year history of helping families honor the memory of loved ones through our unique, post-cremation memorial spaceflights. Our heritage encompasses nearly 30 years of global leadership in private sector space missions and applications including:
· the first ever private launch into outer space (1982)
· the first private, post-cremation memorial spaceflight (1997)
· the first lunar burial (1999)
We have an exciting lineup of missions to Earth orbit, to the Moon and to deep space. We invite you to learn more about us and our upcoming missions.