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The ultimate tribute? Houston company lets you launch your dead pets into outer space

Ultimate tribute? Houston company lets you launch dead pets into space

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Celestis Pets offers the ability to launch a portion of your deceased pet's ashes into space. Photo courtesy of Celestis, Inc.
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Celestis contributes financially to the launches of scientific spaceflights as those vehicles are used to carry the remains into space. Courtesy of Celestis, Inc.
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Soon there will be a new way to honor your four-legged friends once they've passed on and it's truly out of this world.

Celestis, Inc., a Houston-based company that pioneered post-cremation space flights, recently introduced Celestis Pets, a memorial service to honor deceased cats, dogs and other pets. 

Since the company's inaugural flight in 1997 — carrying Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's ashes — Celestis has offered the ability to launch a rocket carrying a small amount of a loved one's cremated remains into space, although the service was not extended to pet remains until now.

 "It's like lighting the biggest candle in honor of a pet or loved one." 

While 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 their 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," Steven Eisle, director of Celestis Pets, tells CultureMap.

Eisle says that since Celestis uses existing scientific and commercial space flights to launch the carefully packaged remains into space with their flight modules, the company contributes to the launch costs and lowers the expenses for those flights, allowing for more launches and further exploration of outer space.

So whether you're a sci-fi fan or you're just looking to honor your departed animal companion, you can already 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.

"It's like lighting the biggest candle in honor of a pet or loved one," Eisle says of the services Celestis Pets provide.

"People may think it's a little strange, but it's a great tribute."