Back to the moon, with care
: PTScientists, a German company planning to launch lunar rovers to revisit the last Apollo moon landing site in 2019, has pledged to ensure no harm comes to the historic artifacts present there. The company announced a partnership with the non-profit organization For All Moonkind, which is working to develop a framework to preserve humanity's heritage in space. The news of the partnership coincided with the 45th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission.
: A storage bag used by the Apollo astronauts on their missions to the moon has inspired the style of a new tool bag designed by a former "Mythbusters" co-host. The EDC One, as created by Adam Savage, draws its clamshell opening and other style points from the "McDivitt purse," a temporary stowage bag first proposed by Apollo 9 commander Jim McDivitt for use in space. The EDC One is even equipped with a mount for a "mission" patch.
: For five years beginning in 1981, John Chakeres photographed NASA's space shuttle orbiters as they launched and landed on their first flights. But with the tragic loss of one of the ships, Chakeres put his negatives into storage, where they remained unseen for almost three decades. Now, with the support of a Kickstarter campaign, Chakeres is preparing to publish "First Fleet," a photo book documenting the space shuttle in its burgeoning years.
Budweiser barley bound for orbit
: Looking towards the day when astronauts enjoy "Bud on Mars," Anheuser-Busch on Tuesday (Nov 21) revealed it will send 20 Budweiser barley seeds on a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station. The seeds will be the focus of two experiments in malting and germination to learn how the grain reacts to and grows in microgravity. The Bud-ding barley will be in orbit for 30 days before returning to Earth.
'Mercury 13,' the series
: The story of the 13 women who underwent physiological testing for spaceflight at the start of the space age is being developed by Amazon as a miniseries. "Mercury 13" (working title) will be based on Martha Ackmann's 2003 similarly-titled book about the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, or FLATs. Amazon's "Mercury 13" is the second announced project about the women; another event series is in development by ITV Studios America.
First cat in space statue
: A statue will soon stand in Paris honoring the first, and perhaps only, cat to fly into space. More than $57,000 was raised on Kickstarter to fund the bronze monument honoring Félicette, the black-and-white stray that France launched on a 15-minute suborbital spaceflight in October 1963. The crowdfunded memorial is intended to raise awareness of the oft-forgotten feline.
Apollo in 'Artemis'
: Author Andy Weir ("The Martian") sets his new novel "Artemis" on the moon, near the site of the first moon landing. Centered around a crime at the first and only moon base, "Artemis," in stores on Tuesday (Nov. 14), includes more than a few nods to NASA's Apollo missions. Weir described the role that real lunar exploration history plays in his fictional future story in an interview.
SNC Dream Chaser glides
: Forty years and 16 days after the prototype orbiter Enterprise flew its fifth and final free flight approach and landing test, Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser achieved a similar feat from the same place. The smaller commercial space plane dropped away from a helicopter above the lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base in California to glide to a landing on the same runway used by the shuttles to return from orbit. The flight advances SNC's plans to use the Dream Chaser to fly cargo to and from the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.
Gold LM lands at auction
: Just four months after a Cartier-crafted gold lunar module was stolen from a museum, another has surfaced at auction. The model gifted to Buzz Aldrin in Paris in 1969 opened for bids at $10,000 on Thursday (Nov. 9) as part of RR Auction's week-long space memorabilia sale. The model is one of only three that were made for the Apollo 11 crew. Neil Armstrong's went missing from Ohio's Armstrong Air and Space Museum in July.
Saturn V at 50
: NASA's mighty moon rocket, the Saturn V, was launched for the first time 50 years ago. The Apollo 4 (AS-501) mission lifted off on Nov. 9, 1967 from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on an uncrewed test flight. The milestone marked the first of 13 Saturn V flights, including the delivery of 24 astronauts to the moon and the launch of Skylab, the United States' first space station.
: The U.S. 2018 Olympic snowboard team will wear uniforms inspired by NASA astronaut spacesuits. The uniforms take design cues from Mercury and Apollo spacesuits, as well as the color of the space shuttle-era launch and entry pressure suits. Created by Burton Snowboards, the team uniforms will be worn for the games in PyeongChang, South Korea in February.
LEGO 'Women of NASA'
: Four women from NASA's 60-year history are now available as LEGO minifigures. The Women of NASA set, which launched for sale Wednesday (Nov 1), features minifigs and related builds honoring "Mother of Hubble" Nancy Grace Roman, Apollo spacecraft software developer Margaret Hamilton and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. The $25 set includes 231 pieces.
Apollo 4 lands
: Just 9 days shy of 50 years since it launched on the first Saturn V rocket, the Apollo 4 command module landed at the Infinity Science Center on Tuesday (Oct. 31). Previously located at NASA's Stennis Space Center in nearby Hancock County, Mississippi, the capsule launched without a crew on Nov. 9, 1967, and orbited Earth three times. The Apollo 4 spacecraft joins NASA's final built Saturn V first stage at the Infinity Science Center.
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