The Final Journey of Apollo the Australian Shepherd: Pet Goes to Outer Space While Bagpipes Play "Amazing Grace" on the International Space Station

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Nov 9, 2015) - Celestis, Inc., the Houston, Texas global leader in Memorial Spaceflights, announced that Celestis Pets sent its first pet to outer space aboard UP Aerospace SL-10 Rocket launched Friday, November 6th from Spaceport America, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The launch of the first pet in space took place in a moment of great synchronicity as the first bagpipes in outer space played "Amazing Grace."

Celestis Pets is a novel memorial service that enables humans to honor cats, dogs and other animal companions. A global first, Celestis Pets offers customers a unique way to celebrate the life of their pet by sending a symbolic portion of cremated remains on a final journey to space.

Leading the way for this new service is a blue merle Australian Shepherd aptly named Apollo who lived with the Potter family of Los Angeles, California. "Apollo was a remarkably intelligent dog who constantly demonstrated leadership and showed Olympic athletic abilities. At night he would often sit looking up at the stars," said owner and dog lover Michael Potter. "We wanted to do something unique to remember and honor Apollo, and Celestis Pets is an incredible way to memorialize a beloved family pet."

This is Celestis' 7th "Earth Rise" mission, The Tribute Flight, from the majestic setting of Spaceport America, New Mexico. For thousands of years Native Americans lived in harmony with the Earth and the skies above in what New Mexicans correctly call the "Land of Enchantment." Now, the Celestis "Earth Rise" launch from Spaceport America provides a way to celebrate all beings as being part of the universe by flying them to the stars.

On all Celestis Pets flights, pet cremated remains or DNA will travel in individual capsules on a commercial launch vehicle alongside scientific and commercial payloads. Service options include suborbital flights that return to Earth, Earth orbit missions, lunar flights, and missions to deep space. Pet spaceflights are an historic first and mark a further evolution of commercial spaceflight to include non-human species.

About Celestis: Celestis Pets is a division of Celestis, Inc. and a subsidiary of Space Services Holdings, Inc. The founders of SSHI and Celestis also pioneered post-cremation memorial spaceflights in 1997 with the launch of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and '60s pop icon Timothy Leary, among others. Working with NASA, Celestis placed Dr. Eugene Shoemaker's cremated remains on the lunar surface, making Dr. Shoemaker the first person to be buried on the Moon.

Additional links:

Astro Apollo - The First Pet To Go To Space

Celestis Pets

Painting of �Apollo� to Commemorate Apollo, by Artist Julie Arnoff