Buran on the move
: RSC Energia, the lead spacecraft contractor for Roscosmos, turned over a full-size mockup of a space shuttle to a new public attraction on Tuesday (Jun. 27). The Soviet-era Buran OK-KS test orbiter will travel by road and sea to the site of the Sochi Olympics for its display at the Sirius Science and Art Park. Although it was never space-worthy, the Buran OK-KS was built to test flight software and to qualify ship components for launch.
Native Americans and NASA
: In 2019, the U.S. Mint will recognize the roles that Native Americans have made in NASA history on a $1 coin. Under the theme, "American Indians in the Space Program," the legal tender coin will honor engineer Mary Golda Ross, who developed the Agena upper stage; Apollo flight controller Jerry Elliott; and NASA astronaut John Herrington. The Mint's artists created 18 proposed designs for the coin's reverse, or tails side.
Apollo 11 tails
: How do you adapt an iconic photo of an Apollo 11 astronaut on the moon to be struck onto the tails side of a series of curved coins? That was the challenge for the U.S. Mint as its sculptor-engravers set about creating concepts for the reverse of the 2019 coins that will mark 50 years since the first moon landing. The U.S. Mint's three design candidates have now been made public.
Bill Dana, 'José Jiménez' (1924-2017)
: The honorary eighth Mercury astronaut, Bill Dana died on Thursday (June 15) at the age of 92. A comedian, Dana's character José Jiménez won the attention and admiration of the early U.S. astronauts for his routine as a reluctant spaceman. On May 5, 1961, Dana's place in NASA history was secured as Deke Slayton radioed, "Okay, José, you're on your way!" as Alan Shepard lifted off to be the first American in space.
Apollo 16's Orion honored on Mars
: When NASA's Mars rover Opportunity drove near a crater in April during the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 16 moon landing, the concurrence inspired a connection between the missions. NASA's science team informally named the Martian feature Orion Crater, after the Apollo 16 lunar module Orion, which landed with John Young and Charlie Duke in April 1972.
Following Armstrong's flightpath
: Chosen as one of 12 new astronaut candidates, Bob Hines is the latest in a line of NASA research pilots, starting with Neil Armstrong, who went from piloting NASA aircraft to flying on NASA spacecraft. Hines, a test pilot in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, joined the aircraft operations division at Johnson Space Center in Houston in 2012, flying T-38 jets, NASA's WB-57 and Gulfstream G-III research aircraft.
: The first time author Jeffrey Kluger took readers on a journey through real space history, he launched them with Jim Lovell on the fifth flight to the moon. For his new book, Kluger returns to Lovell, but this time boards Apollo 8 for its historic maiden lunar mission. Kluger, who is the science editor at TIME, spoke with collectSPACE about writing "Apollo 8" as the flight's 50th anniversary nears.
Zinger 1 mission
: KFC is launching a spicy, crispy chicken sandwich to space, sort of, on the first flight of World View's Stratollite high-altitude platform. The "Zinger 1" mission may set a few firsts for stratospheric flight, but will not cross into space. World View's Stratollite is designed to serve as a platform for edge-of-space science and a steady platform for telecommunications and disaster response. As Rob Lowe, as Colonel Sanders, says, the Zinger mission is designed to sell spicy, crispy chicken sandwiches.
Bake in space
: First came the freshly-grown lettuce, then the fresh-brewed espresso, and now, a new space station-bound experiment is promising freshly-baked, crumb-free bread in orbit. Set to launch in June 2018, "Bake In Space" will pair a special dough with a microgravity oven to produce "typical weekend German bread rolls" to meet the tastes and psychological needs of astronauts in space.
: France's La Poste postal service has issued four new stamps to mark the return to Earth of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, the country's tenth citizen in space. The "Retour Sur Terre" stamps were timed to coincide with Pesquet's June 2 landing, completing his 196 day mission to the International Space Station. The stamps reproduce four photos taken during Pesquet's expedition.
'We're happy to be here'
: The 22nd class of NASA astronauts are more than happy to be selected and are looking forward to reporting for basic training in August. The 12 astronaut candidates ("ascans") spoke about their new role, past experiences, and their expectations for the future after being welcomed to NASA on Wednesday (June 7).
Apollo patches reimagined
: Offering a new take on the iconic Apollo patches, artists Tim Gagnon and Jorge Cartes have produced 24 new emblems to commemorate the 50 years since the moon missions. Available from A-B Emblem beginning on Wednesday (June 7), Gagnon's and Cartes' collection includes two patches for each crew, from Apollo 1 through Apollo 17, reimagining the original artwork and depicting highlights from each of the historic flights.
: NASA has selected Patrick Forrester as the chief of the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. An astronaut since 1996, Forrester flew on three space shuttle missions to help assemble and stock the International Space Station. The 16th chief of the Astronaut Office, Forrester succeeds Chris Cassidy, who is returning to the corps to fly in space again. Forrester's new position comes just as 12 new astronauts report to NASA.
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