Celestis memorial spaceflights provide meaningful ways for families and friends to honor the memory of a loved one. Whether they attend our launch-related activities in person or watch via webcast, families find the Celestis experience to be emotionally moving and fulfilling.
Below are just some of the comments made by family members of those on board The New Frontier Flight, launched into Earth orbit on May 22, 2012 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Those who traveled to Florida to view the launch in person also had the opportunity to view the rocket on its launch pad from the vantage point of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and participate in our memorial service for those on board the flight.
Attendees at the Celestis New Frontier Flight Memorial Service. Photos of each person on board the flight, together with their names and personal flight messages, were displayed on the screen at left.
Now we have come to an end. Mark’s ashes are orbiting and 5 years have passed since we started this journey together.
I remember first talking with you, getting information about the process of sending ashes into space. You were so understanding and compassionate as I vented and cried and told the story of how I came to be doing this. You grieved along with me.
Astronaut Jon McBride speaking at the memorial service
There are no words to express fully how much I appreciated you during those early days. You became a trusted friend and helped me navigate through some tough decisions. You may not know that you did these things, but during our conversations I gained some measure of strength and found that I could get through all manner of difficult days.
Christiana, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For extending your friendship to me, for keeping me in the Celestis loop of information, for caring enough to search and actually find me after I had re-married and changed my name and address. I can’t believe you did that!
You are an amazing asset to Celestis and a friend to all the family members you come in contact with every day. I wish you Love & Blessings always
Johanna Wallace Mitchell (Joey)
P.S. I still think we should meet someday.
Family members share their thoughts at the memorial service
Bravo to you all this is the very best of news that my loved one has now accomplished the dream to go into space. For me it came at the anniversary of when my wife left this world six years ago almost to the day (May 21, 2006), making it extremely special. This is a next step for all to help move forward in space travel for mankind! Will be waiting for more news about the orbit and be able to track their orbit and go out in the night and look up and say there they go overhead.
This has been soooooooo much fun! I’m so glad my father was able to be a part of this historic mission.
At the end of the memorial service, families and friends walked to a nearby river where they laid flowers in memory of their loved ones.
I cannot express how thrilled my family is about the launch. It is truly a wonderful day. We watched from our homes but we celebrated with the entire Celestis and New Frontier family. Thank you, a million times over, for this opportunity. This was the only idea about which Dad showed any enthusiasm as we talked with him about his memorial service – and oh, the enthusiasm he had for this.
Families viewed the nighttime launch in person or by webcast. Image Credit: NASA
We, at Celestis, thank all of the families and friends who have written us! We will never forget joining many of you in the pre-dawn darkness of May 22 to watch the spectacular launch from Jetty Park, located just 10.3 miles from the launch pad. As the rocket lifted its precious cargo of New Frontier Flight participants into the night sky, the spirits of all of us at Jetty Park lifted as well. The brilliant light of the rocket’s powerful engines resembled the light of a very bright star rising ever so gracefully into the stars above. The crowd reacted with a joyful mix of applause, cheers, handshakes, hugs, and tears: Their loved ones’ dreams of spaceflight had come true. Those of you who joined us virtually, via the launch webcast, were also with us in spirit.
Click here to read more about the New Frontier Flight, view video of the launch, read about the people on board, and track the satellite as it orbits Earth.
Click here to view a touching television interview with one of The New Frontier Flight families.