The Source for Space History and Artifacts
: 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.
: Debuting Saturday (Jan. 21), "Mission Mars" invites the public to step onto the red planet at Space Center Houston. The new exhibit immerses visitors in the future of Mars exploration using a multi-story-tall high-definition projection, hands-on displays and real meteorites and artifacts. "Mission Mars" also showcases a 45-foot-tall Space Launch System model and Orion research capsule.
: A new TV series from the author of "The Martian" will center on NASA flight controllers managing the space station in Houston. Andy Weir on Tuesday (Jan. 17) announced that CBS Television Studios has ordered the pilot episode of "Mission Control," a "drama set at NASA" that will strive for scientific accuracy.
'Last Man' remembered
: Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, died on Monday (Jan. 16), eliciting tributes by those who knew and flew with him. Thomas Stafford, who led both of Cernan's first Gemini and Apollo missions, and Harrison Schmitt, who with Cernan explored the moon, were among the voices from NASA's past and present who shared remembrances of their crewmate and colleague.
: Now you can climb aboard the Gemini 9 and Apollo 14 capsules, see space shuttle Atlantis and spacewalk outside of the International Space Station, thanks to a new VR headset from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Space Visor, now for sale at the complex's souvenir shop, also features a virtual tour of the Rocket Garden and a simulated Apollo lunar rover ride.
Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence
: The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) has announced a new annual award to recognize the top achievements by Astronaut Scholars. The Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence will honor scientists, engineers, and explorers whose character and work reflect the principles embodied by Armstrong and all of the astronauts who have ventured into space.
Endeavour exhibit gets a boost
: When the space shuttle Endeavour goes vertical at the California Science Center, slated for 2019, it will stand on display with a set of solid rocket boosters donated by Orbital ATK and NASA. The addition of the flight-worthy motors will not only ensure the unprecedented, launch-pad-like exhibit is authentic, but that it is also seismically and structurally sound.
Mission control in a mental hospital
: More than 50 years after it was last active, NASA's first mission control comes back to life in the new 20th Century Fox film "Hidden Figures." Unable to access the authentic consoles and equipment in Florida and lacking the budget to use a sound stage, the filmmakers located the space for their recreation in a former psychiatric hospital near Atlanta, Georgia.
Hidden Figures' hidden history
: In "Hidden Figures," the new 20th Century Fox film now open wide in U.S. theaters, the untold history of NASA's African-American women "human computers" is explored within the timeline of the United States' first spaceflights. The entire film is a nod to the early space program, but the movie also includes a number of "hidden" references to NASA's history.
'Get the girl to check the numbers'
: In the new 20th Century Fox film "Hidden Figures," opening wide on Friday (Jan. 6), John Glenn (Glen Powell) directs NASA to "get the girl to check the numbers." It is a line taken straight from history, referring to mathematician Katherine Johnson and the orbital trajectory calculated by dual IBM computers. But when exactly did the astronaut speak those words?
Space Race in Seattle
: Moon rocks, sunken rocket engines, and other relics of the space race will debut on display at The Museum of Flight in Seattle on May 20. The new exhibit will feature the personal artifacts of Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad and Saturn V F-1 engines that were recovered from the ocean floor by Bezos Expeditions. The exhibit will also include Apollo spacecraft and spacesuits.
Igor Volk, 1937-2017
: Soviet-era cosmonaut Igor Volk, who died on Tuesday (Jan. 3), flew to the Salyut 7 space station in 1984 to gain the spaceflight experience he needed to lead the first flight of the Buran space shuttle. The Soyuz T-12 mission was a success, but the Buran program was canceled before Volk, or any cosmonaut, could launch on the winged orbiter. A decorated test pilot, he was 79.
Drink like the astronauts
: You can now buy your own "Space Cup" just like the type used by the astronauts on the International Space Station. Made by the same fluid systems firm that developed the cups for orbit, Spaceware offers both a flight-fidelity cup and less expensive porcelain Space Cup (in four colors) featuring the same shape as the cups demonstrated on the space station. "Think of this as a bit of art, science and space history all in one."
Shuttle booster arrives at Pima
: The Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson took delivery of a space shuttle solid rocket booster (SRB) on Thursday (Dec. 29). The 149-foot booster was trucked from the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, where it had been in storage since 2012 for its possible display by the California Science Center.
Ryan Gosling is the 'First Man'
Actor Ryan Gosling will portray the first moonwalker Neil Armstrong in Universal Studios' biopic "First Man." The movie, which is expected to begin filming in 2017, is based on historian James Hansen's 2005 authorized biography of Armstrong (by the same title) and a script by "Spotlight" writer Josh Singer.
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