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February 19, 2017

/ 9:00 a.m. CT (1500 GMT)




Falcon flies from Pad 39A

: A Dragon cargo capsule is now on its way to the International Space Station, having lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The lift off of the SpaceX rocket marked the first flight from the Apollo-era launch pad since the retirement of the space shuttle six years ago. SpaceX upgraded the pad, replacing its ground systems and adding an new transporter erector launcher.


February 16, 2017

/ 12:35 a.m. CT (0635 GMT)


Cernan-1

: The NASA rocket that could bring the next U.S. astronauts to the moon may be named for the last man to walk there. A new resolution introduced by Congressmen John Culberson (R-TX-7) and Robert Aderholt (R-AL-4) in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday (Feb. 15) calls for NASA to christen its first Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket the "Cernan 1" in memory of Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan, who died in January.


February 15, 2017

/ 3:35 p.m. CT (2135 GMT)


Astronauts aboard?

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket may lift off on its maiden mission with astronauts on board, NASA's acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said on Wednesday (Feb. 15). In an email to the agency's employees, Lightfoot wrote that he has asked for a study to be initiated to "assess the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1," which had been slated for launch in late 2018. Lightfoot acknowledged the challenges of flying astronauts "would require a different launch date."


February 14, 2017

/ 8:15 a.m. CT (1415 GMT)


Astronaut Hall of Fame

: Two record-setting astronauts who launched together on a 1993 space shuttle mission will be honored as the 2017 inductees in the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Ellen Ochoa and Michael Foale, who were crewmates aboard space shuttle Discovery's STS-56 mission, were announced on Tuesday (Feb. 14) as the Hall of Fame's 94th and 95th enshrinees. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida will hold a May 20 public ceremony to welcome Ochoa and Foale into the Hall.


February 12, 2017

/ 3:50 p.m. CT (2150 GMT)


First Falcon on 39A

: NASA's historic launch pad 39A roared back to life on Sunday (Feb. 12) as SpaceX conducted a test with its first Falcon 9 rocket to use the pad. The practice countdown, which culminated in a brief static fire, checked that the rocket and SpaceX's modifications to the pad were ready to support a launch. The test marked a return to use for the Kennedy Space Center pad, the site of the first crewed launches to the moon, since the final space shuttle mission lifted off from 39A in July 2011.


February 8, 2017

/ 1:00 p.m. CT (1900 GMT)


Tornado destroys tank

: NASA's first space shuttle external tank to reach the launch pad four decades ago was destroyed on Tuesday (Feb. 7) by a tornado that impacted the New Orleans facility where it was built and stored. The tornado, which caused only a few minor injuries but left several buildings and hundreds of cars damaged, flattened the ground vibration test article (ET-GVTA) that NASA used in early tests with the prototype orbiter Enterprise, including the first rollout of a space shuttle to the launch pad.


February 6, 2017

/ 2:05 p.m. CT (2005 GMT)


Continuing mission

: A soccer ball that was flown aboard the ill-fated launch of the space shuttle Challenger has made it into space 30 years later. Shane Kimbrough photographed the ball on the International Space Station as a tribute to the late Ellison Onizuka, who had taken the ball on the STS-51L mission for his daughter. After its recovery in 1986, the ball was given to a Houston high school where both Onizuka's and Kimbrough's children attended.


February 4, 2017

/ 1:00 a.m. CT (0700 GMT)


LI in space

: The Super Bowl winning team's jersey is right now on board the International Space Station, even though the Patriots and Falcons won't meet on the field until Sunday (Feb. 5). Expedition 50 crewmembers Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson have revealed how the shirt came to be on orbit — not just before the game, but prior to the playoffs, too. The astronauts will watch the Super Bowl in space, as streamed by Mission Control in Houston.


February 2, 2017

/ 1:30 p.m. CT (1930 GMT)


ESA's new astronaut

: Matthias Maurer, an engineer from Germany, has started training as the latest member of the European Space Agency's (ESA) astronaut corps. Maurer was selected Thursday (Feb. 2) to be the seventh member of ESA's 2009 astronaut class — eight years after he qualified as a finalist. The six Europeans who preceded him have now all flown missions to the space station.


February 2, 2017

/ 12:45 a.m. CT (0645 GMT)


Next drop, Mars

: Before the big game kicks off in Houston, Super Bowl fans are getting a chance to lift off to Mars riding Future Flight, presented by NASA, in collaboration with the Houston Host Committee and six aerospace industry partners. The VR-enhanced amusement park drop tower blasts riders to the Red Planet before dropping them onto the 50 yard line at NRG Stadium for Super Bowl LI.


January 30, 2017

/ 11:00 a.m. CT (1700 GMT)


Into the blue

: Boeing's reveal of a spacesuit for its CST-100 Starliner astronaut crews has drawn attention for its lightweight design and modern features like touchscreen compatible gloves. And because it is blue. But for those familiar with space history, the "Boeing Blue" Starliner attire shares the shade of spacesuits past.


January 27, 2017

/ 6:00 a.m. CT (1200 GMT)




Ad Astra Per Aspera

: Fifty years to the day after they sealed the fate of three astronauts, the hatches from NASA's first crewed Apollo command module have gone on display. The exhibit, titled "Ad Astra Per Aspera: A Rough Road Leads to the Stars," serves as a tribute to the Apollo 1 crew of Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee, while also showing how their sacrifice led to NASA sending astronauts safely to the moon. The exhibit is located in the Saturn V facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


January 26, 2017

/ 4:30 p.m. CT (2030 GMT)


Day of Remembrance

: One day prior to the 50th anniversary of the fire that claimed their lives, the Apollo 1 crew was remembered on Thursday (Jan. 26) during a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The annual NASA Day of Remembrance observance brought to Florida family members of the fallen astronauts, who joined with NASA officials and Apollo veterans in paying tribute to Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee.


January 25, 2017

/ 10:25 a.m. CT (1625 GMT)


Space for Art

: What do a set of bagpipes, a stuffed toy dinosaur, a fondant sculpted cake and skateboards have in common? They are all the artistic instruments and work of NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists from the Johnson Space Center in Texas on exhibit at Space Center Houston. The "Space for Art" exhibit, curated by astronaut-turned-artist Nicole Stott, explores the relationship between art and spaceflight as found within the NASA community.


January 24, 2017

/ 4:45 p.m. CT (2045 GMT)


'Last Man' mourned

: A funeral service held in Houston Tuesday (Jan. 24) celebrated the life and legacy of astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon. Family members, friends and fellow astronauts gathered at St. Martin's Episcopal Church to mourn the Gemini and Apollo veteran, who died on Jan. 16 at 82. Cernan will be interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin at a later date.


January 23, 2017

/ 12:15 a.m. CT (0615 GMT)


Apollo Field

: As Houston gets ready to host the Super Bowl, a football field in one of the city's suburbs is drawing attention to another 50 year old event, albeit one more somber in nature. The field at Clear Creek Independent School District's Challenger Columbia Stadium is set to be named Apollo Field, in honor of the Apollo 1 crew who died in a fire on the launch pad on Jan. 27, 1967. Apollo Field is now among a number of tributes, on and off Earth, that are memorials to Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.


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