: The Smithsonian touring exhibition, "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission," featuring Columbia, the spacecraft that carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon, ended its run at Space Center Houston on Sunday (March 18) following five months on display. The exhibit, which includes 20 Apollo 11 artifacts, will next open April 14 at the Saint Louis Science Center in Missouri as the second leg of its four-city tour.
'Making History' in Kerbal
: Private Division and Squad on Tuesday (March 13) released Making History, the first expansion for Kerbal Space Program. The add-on enables players to choose from missions inspired by historic Space Race events and build spacecraft based on Russian and U.S. rockets. Among the vehicles now possible are the Vostok, Soyuz, Gemini and Apollo Saturn V booster.
Searching for Skylab
: Nearly 45 years after its launch into Earth orbit, the United States' first space station has been largely forgotten, a new documentary contends. "Searching for Skylab," from Dwight Steven-Boniecki, seeks to correct for the oversight and restore the orbital workshop to public view. A Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 will complete the film in time for its premiere, slated for July.
Barbie's hidden figure
: Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician who calculated the trajectories for early U.S. human spaceflights as a "human computer," is the model for one of Barbie's new "Inspiring Women" dolls. The "hidden figure" turned fashion doll was designed with close input by Johnson. Announced in celebration of International Women's Day, Mattel will release the doll for sale in May.
Sally Ride stamp
: The United States Postal Service on Wednesday (Feb. 28) set May 23 for the release of its new Sally Ride postage stamp. A dedication ceremony will be held in La Jolla, California. Ride, who died at age 61 in 2012, made history as the first American woman to fly in space 35 years ago. The USPS also set April 6 as the first day of issue for a stamp depicting the Apollo spacecraft.
: NASA on Monday (Feb. 26) mounted the crew access arm for its Space Launch System mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The walkway, which is capped by a white room, will be the bridge astronauts use to board the Orion spacecraft on the launch pad. The crew access arm was hoisted to the tower's 274-foot level to align it with Orion's hatch when atop the SLS.
Soyuz MS-06 crew lands
: NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin are now back on Earth after 168 days on the International Space Station. The three Expedition 54 crew mates on Tuesday (Feb. 27) landed aboard Russia's Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft on the snowy steppe of Kazakhstan. The trio took part in hundreds of science investigations, saw the arrival and departure of five visiting vehicles and performed a total of six spacewalks during their time on orbit.
Command module encased
: After almost a month of work, the California Science Center completed its new display for NASA's Apollo-Soyuz Test Project command module, giving visitors a clearer view of the spacecraft flown on the first joint U.S. and Russian mission in 1975. A glass case with interior lighting has replaced the ASTP command module's previous Plexiglas wrap, improving visibility while also meeting new Smithsonian conservation standards.
Space market size
: Before it expands its on orbit operations with the launch of two large inflatable space stations, Bigelow Aerospace is looking to quantify the market for platforms above Earth. To that end, and to establish its sales and customer service arm, the company has formed Bigelow Space Operations. BSO will investigate the global space market while working to secure new payloads for the International Space Station, ahead of its own stations.
: An astronomer is replacing a fighter pilot in a private competition to send the first German woman to space. Suzanna Randall, 38, of ESO, the European Southern Observatory, has replaced fighter pilot Nicola Baumann in the Die Astronautin initiative. Randall will train and compete alongside meteorologist Insa Thiele-Eich, the daughter of veteran astronaut Gerhard Thiele, for a chance to fly on a privately-funded mission to the space station.
: Less than a week after one was launched into space, the market for Tesla Roadsters has skyrocketed — at least in miniature toy form. The Mattel Hot Wheels version of the red Roadster released in 2016 had been selling on eBay for $5 to $15, until Elon Musk put one aboard SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. Since then, the toy cars have been commanding upwards of $100.
Mercury All American
: A new high-top has the "right stuff" to honor the 60th anniversary of NASA's Project Mercury and a company's role in it. The Mercury All American made by Heddels and PF Flyers, the latter previously part of B.F. Goodrich, is styled after the original astronauts' boots and the athletic shoe they wore to train. Limited to 21 pairs, the sneakers are built out of aluminized nylon, nickel alloy, parachute cord and other spacesuit materials.
Fourth electric car in space
: Should all go to plan, the maiden flight of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy will put a Tesla Roadster on a path to become the fourth electric car in space. The midnight cherry convertible may become the first car to depart on a billion-year Mars elliptic orbit, but the first-ever electric cars in space were the Apollo lunar rovers launched by the Saturn V rocket almost 50 years ago.
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