: "There are a bunch of people out there who think, 'Oh, it is horrible. There is nothing enjoyable about it at all.' That's not true," says Vickie Kloeris about the current state of space food. Kloeris' newly-released memoir, "Space Bites," chronicles her 34 years as a NASA food scientist. collectSPACE interviewed Kloeris about the book and her favorite (and least favorite) space food items.
: The seven members of the International Space Station's Expedition 70 crew took time Wednesday (Dec. 6) to mark the 25th anniversary of their home in Earth orbit by speaking with the commander of the mission that joined the outpost's first two modules. NASA associate administrator Bob Cabana, who in 1998 brought together the United States' Unity node with Russia's Zarya functional cargo block, asked the astronauts in orbit about the legacy he helped to begin and that they are continuing.
: A small bear cub dressed in red dungarees with white polka dots and a blue cap took a spin aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday (Nov. 22), to celebrate his birthday and engage children in an astronaut's mission. Andy Mogensen tumbled alongside a plush doll of the 72-year-old Danish comic strip character Rasmus Klump and answered kids' questions about space.
: SpaceX's Starship is the latest of the company's vehicles to be made into a Mattel Matchbox toy. The moon and Mars-bound spacecraft has joined the iconic toy brand's line of aerospace-themed sets, Sky Busters, alongside a model of SpaceX's Dragon descent capsule. The main mix of Matchbox cars has also gained a new Dragon and a Falcon Heavy coming in 2024.
: Blue Origin now has an official ballpoint pen for all of its upcoming crewed flights. The commercial spaceflight company has partnered with Fisher Space Pen, makers of the pressurized ink cartridge flown on all crewed missions since 1968. To celebrate the agreement, Fisher has released three new commemorative space pens, each incorporating Blue Origin's feather logo.
: A NASA astronaut who died in 2001 as a result of injuries sustained in a plane crash is being memorialized by Northrop Grumman with the naming of a space station-bound cargo ship. The NG-20 Cygnus spacecraft will fly atop a SpaceX rocket early next year as the SS Patricia Hilliard "Patty" Robertson with food and supplies for the ISS Expedition 70 crew.
: The California Science Center's "Go for Stack" campaign took another step forward this week with the completion of the two solid rocket boosters for Endeavour's launchpad-like exhibit. On Tuesday (Dec. 5), the second of two forward assemblies, or nose cones, was lifted into place. The work preceded Endeavour's current horizontal display closing to the public on Dec. 31. Stacking of the orbiter and its external tank is set for early next year.
: An astronaut who first controlled a robot arm as a cherry picker and helped deploy a probe to Venus before leading NASA's science directorate, Mary L. Cleave died on Monday (Nov. 27) at the age of 76. Cleave was the tenth woman to fly in space, the first female capcom to talk to another woman in space, the first woman to fly after the 1986 Challenger tragedy and the first female associate administrator of NASA's science division.
: SpaceX launched a fully-integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket Saturday (Nov. 18) from its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The mostly successful test flight debuted the vehicle's hot-fire stage separation system and placed the Starship into space, but ended early due to the booster exploding and the ship self-destructing rather than each descending to water landings.
In 2002, astronaut John Herrington became the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to fly into space. Now, he has "signed" a new, limited edition patch to help send Native American girls to Space Camp. Herrington is the fourth astronaut to take part in the Space Hipsters Facebook group's "Taking Up Space" fundraiser with his own "Signature Edition" patch, featuring images from his STS-113 mission and Chickasaw heritage.