A Texas company recently introduced a new way to honor your four-legged friends once they've passed, and it's truly out of this world. Houston-based Celestis Inc., which pioneered post-cremation space flights, introduced Celestis Pets, a memorial service to honor deceased cats, dogs and other pets.
Celestis launches a rocket into space carrying a small amount of a loved one's cremated remains. It started with a flight in 1997, carrying the ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. But the service was not extended to pets until now.
"It's like lighting the biggest candle in honor of a pet or loved one," says Celestis Pets director Steven Eisle.
Although a spaceflight memoriam might not be for everyone, it certainly is unique. Currently services range from the Earth Rise (starting at $995), in which the remains are returned to the loved one after a short flight into space, to Voyager (starting at $12,500), which launches the ashes on a voyage through deep space.
With the memorial space flights for human loved ones growing in popularity, there was an increasing demand to fly the remains of beloved pets into space as well.
"We wanted to do something special for pets too," says Celestis Pets director Steven Eisle. "It's like lighting the biggest candle in honor of a pet or loved one. People may think it's a little strange, but it's a great tribute."
Eisle says that because Celestis uses existing scientific and commercial space flights to launch the carefully packaged remains into space, the company contributes to the costs and lowers the expenses for those flights, allowing for more launches and further exploration of outer space.
You can schedule a space flight for your pet on the company's website, although space on the inaugural Celestis Pets flight this fall is no longer available.