Cambodia's piece of the moon
: At the time the United States gifted a small moon rock to Cambodia in 1973, it was still bombing parts of the civil war-torn nation as an extension of the Vietnam War. It is therefore, perhaps, not a surprise that the Apollo goodwill moon rock went missing. Exactly when it was separated from its presentation plaque and put into storage is not known, but thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, the lunar sample is now on display at the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
Sally's space stamps
: Long before she was an astronaut and more than a decade before she lifted off to become the first U.S. woman in space, Sally Ride sought out space-topical postage stamps issued around the world. An avid stamp collector since she was nine, Ride filled albums with commemoratives for space missions that came before her own, and a few that honored her first launch as well.
So long and thanks for the socks
: Record-setting astronaut Peggy Whitson retired from NASA on Friday (June 15). A member of the "NASA Village" since 1986, and an astronaut since 1996, Whitson became the first woman to command a space station, the most experienced female spacewalker, and the first woman to serve as NASA's chief astronaut. Over the course of three space station missions, she set the U.S. record for the most days in space (665).
World Cup cosmonautics
: A soccer ball (or football, if you prefer) that for 74 days orbited Earth kicked off the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Thursday (June 14). The opening match ball, which was named for a satellite, was brought out onto the field at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The flown ball is among several nods to space at the World Cup.
Saintly science on the space station
: The U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station now has a new mission patch created by the filmmaker behind "Alien" and "Blade Runner." Ridley Scott focused on the image of a female astronaut, drawing parallels between her helmet and the way Renaissance artists painted halos over saints. Scott designed the insignia in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space.
: Werenbach, which in 2017 crowd-funded wristwatches made from flown Soyuz rocket parts, is back on Kickstarter to launch its next merger of space and time. The Mach 33 collection still features spent rocket metal but can now also link to live views of Earth from aboard the International Space Station with a tap to a smartphone.
Moon dust lawsuit
: Laura Murray Cicco has filed a lawsuit against NASA to preemptively stop the space agency from claiming a moon dust-filled vial that she says was gifted to her by astronaut Neil Armstrong when she was a child. Chemical testing of the sample did not rule out lunar origin, but found the dust to be similar to the "average crust of Earth." The lawsuit, filed in Kansas, does not include an explanation for how the first Apollo moonwalker would have come to possess the moon dust in order to give it away.
: NASA is funding an effort to restore and launch on traveling exhibit some of its historic mission control consoles for the purposes of inspiring and motivating the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers. The Cosmosphere in Kansas will use the $650K grant to prepare and run the "Apollo Redux" tour, which will blend the access to the artifacts with a STEM curriculum to reach underserved students across the United States.
: A new three-member crew embarked for the International Space Station on Wednesday (June 6), launching on board Soyuz MS-09. Sergey Prokopyev, Alexander Gerst and Serena Auñón-Chancellor will join the station's Expedition 56/57 crew to conduct science and operate the 20-year-old orbiting outpost. The crew will also stage a soccer match in concert with the 2018 World Cup.
Postal passport to space history
: You can now take a journey through space in stamps with the new "Postal Passport to the Galaxy" from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The 28 page folio highlights 60 years of space firsts through the postage stamps issued to commemorate them. The passport comes in a "keepsake box" and includes nine U.S. space stamps and five embroidered mission patches.
: Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, Norishige Kanai of JAXA and NASA astronaut Scott Tingle returned from a 166-day stay aboard the International Space Station on Sunday (June 3). The crewmates, who conducted science and spacewalks during Expeditions 54 and 55, landed on Russia's Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft in Kazakhstan carrying with them a soccer ball that was flown for the FIFA World Cup beginning this month in Russia.
Apollo at 50
: NASA has revealed its logo for the 50th anniversaries of the Apollo missions to the moon. The logo incorporates elements from the original Project Apollo insignia as its nod to the past, while including references to NASA's vision for its "Next Giant Leap." The Apollo 50 logo was designed by NASA graphic artist Matthew Skeins.
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