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Texas Firm Offers Space Flights For Pet Remains

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) -- If a traditional burial isn't enough for your pet, a Houston firm can provide an out of this world alternative.

Memorial space flights for four-legged loved ones will start this fall by a Houston company that already sends human remains into space.

Celestis Inc. on Wednesday announced Celestis Pets. Rockets carrying cremated remains of dogs and cats are touted as a way for owners to "celebrate the life of their pet."

"I think we're also creating some new cultural norms," said Director of Celestis Pets, Steve Eisele. "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."

Eisele says a small portion of cremated pet remains will be sent into orbit for $995. And if you want to send your pet's remains to the moon? It could take some time, and it will cost you $12,000.

"The Apollo missions only took three days to get to the moon, so there could be a faster path," said Eisele. "It all depends on the launch. It could take as little as three days, and up to years based on which trajectory is taken."

Celestis Pets is working with a California company, Into the Sunset Pet Transition Center of San Diego, for the doggie and kitty cremations.

Celestis for years has offered a rocket service that takes partial human remains into space and brings them back, including ashes of "Star Trek" TV show creator Gene Roddenberry.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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