Send Joel Piehl's Ashes to Space

My father, Joel Piehl unexpectedly passed away and though this is the most difficult of times, there is nothing in this world that would honor him more than for his ashes to be sent into space. 

My dad was a true space enthusiast in every way. Ever since he was a young boy, his ultimate dream was to leave earth and be among the stars. In fact, he was the 567th member of the “First Moon Flights” Club, where Pan Am issued reservations during the 1960’s to join the first ever commercial flight to the moon. My dad was an avid science fiction aficionado, whose favorite movie of all time was “2001 Space Odyssey,” and just recently “Interstellar.” More than anything else, he appreciated the attention to detail in getting the physics correct in these films. The realism was able to transport him that much closer to living his dream of being in space.

As an amateur astronomer, some of my earliest memories with my dad are of him setting up his bright red “Astroscan,” Edmund Scientific telescope on our deck to star gaze. Without touching the table, so not to disturb his precise placement, he would have me look through the telescope and ask me questions like, what planet am I looking at, how far away do I think it is, do I see the rings on Saturn? I would sit out there for hours with him while he would make his surgical adjustments, so we would get the clearest possible views of our celestial neighbors. This love for astronomy, our universe, and space travel has been instilled in me. My ultimate dream was for my dad and I to travel to space together on one of the first ever commercial space flights. 

Now, that this tragically cannot happen, the next best thing is for his ashes to travel into space.

After thorough research, I found the company, Celestis Memorial Spaceflights. Celestis is the pioneer and the only provider to have successfully conducted Memorial Spaceflights in the world for over 30 years. After speaking with them about how it all works, I know this is the best option to honor his memory. 

Celestis has various memorial spaceflight experiences available. I have started this GoFundMe in the hopes of raising $4,995 to be able to send my dad's ashes into space via The Celestis Earth Orbital Heritage Flight (planned for Q2 2018), from Cape Canaveral, Florida. I have already pre-reserved a spot for my dad to be aboard this flight. Spots are limited and they were nice enough to give me the final date of February 1, 2018 to send payment in full. Please find more info on the incredible Earth Orbit experience below:

The uniquely compelling Earth Orbit service places the Celestis spacecraft carrying cremated remains into orbit where it remains until it re-enters the atmosphere, harmlessly vaporizing like a shooting star in final tribute. 

Leaving the bonds of Earth to traverse the sky, experiencing the cosmic rhythms of sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes, transmitting a precise location in space to friends and loved ones below, the Celestis Earth Orbit service spacecraft provides a wonderful tribute.

Family and friends gather at the launch site joining space experts and astronauts for a three-day celebration of life, exploration, and remembrance. On launch day they witness the liftoff of a powerful rocket with the Celestis spacecraft and its precious payload aboard. 

Once in orbit the spacecraft continues on its mission for months or years (mission dependent), eventually re-entering and burning up in entirety, blazing like a shooting star in final tribute.  Celestis Earth Orbit Service missions have always been respectfully engineered to avoid creating orbital debris.

Earth Orbit Experience includes:

The Memorial Spaceflight services includes the service itself, invitation to the launch and memorial service for family and friends, a professionally produced footage of the mission, flight message and name inscription onboard the spacecraft, a biography/photo placed on our website, and performance guarantee. 

Space travel was truly my dad’s ultimate dream. Your contribution will allow his dream to come true and honor him in an out of this world way that he deserves more than anyone else.

I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this and your contribution.

With love,

Joel’s Son, Zach
Joel's Daughter, Leah
Joel's Wife, Sarah

About Celestis:

Celestis is the pioneer and iconic global leader in providing memorial spaceflights.

Through fourteen missions since 1997, no other company has successfully launched even a single memorial spaceflight service. No other company has been selected by NASA to honor one of their distinguished scientists with a memorial spaceflight.

Their experienced team – co founded and led by globally recognized entrepreneur Charles M. Chafer - includes aerospace professionals, dedicated client services and customer support staff, and space launch event management experts. Our directors and advisors include a retired Director of the NASA Kennedy Space Center who directed more than 50 Space Shuttle launches, retired NASA astronauts, and pioneers of the commercial space age. 

The Celestis concept reaches deeply into the human experience – the earliest fictional literature postulating the possibility of humans leaving Earth included discussions of off planet funeral rituals and services. It is only natural that as we move throughout the solar system we will take all of our celebrations and memorials with us – adapting and extending them to the unique circumstances of spaceflight and off Earth existence.

Celestis Memorial Spaceflights are a uniquely compelling way to remember, celebrate, and commemorate a life.

“Rage, rage, against the dying of the light”


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Zach Piehl 
Los Angeles, CA
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