By Amanda Orr
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas company is offering a unique send off for beloved pets by placing a portion of their cremated remains in a capsule and blasting them off into space.
Celestis Inc, which has provided memorial space flights for human remains since 1997, will launch its first commercial pet memorial spaceflight in October 2014 with the remains of a blue merle Australian shepherd, named Apollo, the company said.
The pet services, such as one dubbed Earth Rise, start at $995 and include having the pet’s remains into flown into space on a commercial flight and returned to the owner.
The space send-off options go up to $12,500, which allows the pet’s remains to be launched into deep space or to visit the moon.
Memorial service are available before blast off and families can witness most of the launches, depending on location, the company said.
"Our pet service flights are an idea that’s been a long time coming," Celestis Chief Executive Charles Chafer said.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott)