Celestis, a space memorial company that has been sending human remains to the stars since 1995, has announced a new first-of-its-kind program focused on doing the same for dogs and cats. 

“I think we’re also creating some new cultural norms,” Director of Celestis Pets Steve Eisele told CBS. “Humanity has a lot of different rituals. We think we take our rituals with us when we end up traveling to different places whether they’re on this planet or off the planet.”

Starting in October, Celestis Pets will launch via rocket an engraved flight capsule containing "approximately one gram of the cremated remains (or a lock of hair) of your pet into outer space on the mission of your choice." Owners have a choice of Earth Rise (where ashes enter zero gravity, return to Earth, and are then given back to the family) for $995, Earth Orbit (ashes become part of a commercial or scientific satellite mission in orbit around the Earth) for $4,995, Luna (your pet's ashes will be sent to the moon) for $12,500, and finally Voyager (which will send your pet's ashes into deep space) for $12,500. 

"Following a successful launch, you'll receive a certificate certifying that your pet reached space with specific launch vehicle and flight information," the website states. "Your pet’s name, photo, and a brief biography will be placed on the Celestis Pets website as a public memorial of a life well lived."  

The first launch of Celestis Pets, an Earth Rise mission, will happen on October 7th 2014 from Spaceport America (also the home of Virgin Galactic and SpaceX) in New Mexico. The company plans to offer an Earth Orbit mission in late 2014, with a Lunar service in 2015 and its first Voyager mission in 2016. Those interested in the first Earth Rise, can receive a 20% discount if they reserve a spot before August 7th. 

Related on MNN: 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Texas company to launch remains of dead pets into space
Celestis Pets will send a very small portion of your pet's remains on a variety of missions to the stars.