The death of a pet can be traumatic. That little dog, cat, hamster, goldfish or (certainly in my case) rabbit was, to varying degrees, a part of the family. So it seems only fitting that a suitable send off should be chosen when our pets take their afternoon nap for the last time.
But you can forget digging a hole for for Nibbles, Chester or Fido in that ever-expanding back yard pet cemetery, there’s a far grander idea that will get the neighbors talking: Launch your beloved pet into outer space.
Celestis is a private spaceflight company with a difference. Since 1995 it has been sending payloads on suborbital and orbital trips into space with the cremated remains of humans using a variety of launch providers. No, it’s not some obscure experiment, relatives of the deceased can choose any one of several send-off options involving a rocket-powered memorial.
Today, Celestis has expanded their services to include animals, called Celestis Pets. And now you can even send your family pet in Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s footsteps by launching them to the moon.
“Because your pet loved to explore,” is the company’s tagline, which continues with: “Honor your best friend with a journey to the stars on board the world’s first pet memorial spaceflight service.” Remember the time when Rover
escaped into “explored” the neighborhood, terrorizing Mrs Smith’s kitties? He deserves an orbital memorial.
To send a small portion of your pet’s ashes (or a lock of hair) into space comes at a cost, however.
For $995, you can choose the “Earth Rise” package that will see your beloved pet’s remains blasted on a suborbital trajectory, presumably in a sounding rocket. If you want to take the orbital root, things start getting a little steeper — expect to write a check for $4,995 for the “Earth Orbit” package. But if you want your pet’s remains to become a real pioneer, sending him or her to the moon or beyond, you’ll need to cough up $12,500.
Having sadly lost one of our pet rabbits, Barney, recently I’m thinking that he would have wanted to go “all in” and selected the “Voyager” package. But as I look at my bank account, he’ll have to settle for the “Terra” package. Sorry little fella.