: The new year has arrived and with it comes a year's worth of spaceflight history anniversaries and new space exploration milestones to be made. In 2013, as commercial space travel advances and new probes fly to the moon and Mars, celebrations will mark the 50th anniversary of the first woman in space, the 40th anniversary the United States' first space station, the 30th anniversary of the first flight of shuttle Challenger, the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission and the solemn 10th anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and the STS-107 mission crew.
For the 40 years that followed his walk on moon, Neil Armstrong stated that the first words he spoke on the surface (That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.) were chosen only after he safely landed the lunar module Eagle at Tranquility Base. Now, four months after the astronaut's passing, his brother Dean has said in a BBC documentary that Armstrong shared the phrase with him months before launching to the moon. So was the "small step" scripted?
: On Monday, the new mini-exhibit "Nixon and the U.S. Space Program" opened on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Timed to coincide with the centennial of the birth of Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, the exhibit features documents, photographs, and objects representing milestones in human spaceflight from during Nixon's administration. Included in the display is the telephone Nixon used to make the first Earth-to-moon call to Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
: The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in Florida will induct space shuttle veterans Curtis Brown, Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar this April as its 12th class of space shuttle astronauts to be honored since 2001. Brown, who led John Glenn's return to space; Collins, the first female mission commander; and Dunbar, a five-time mission specialist, will bring the Hall of Fame's total inductees to 85. An induction ceremony is set for April 20 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
: As Enterprise heads under cover for the winter, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is set to reveal the prototype orbiter's legacy in a new exhibition opening Thursday in New York City. "Space Shuttle Enterprise: A Pioneer" features a recreation of the approach and landing test orbiter's cockpit, astronaut flight equipment, and a look at how the space shuttle Enterprise crossed into pop culture to become a spaceflight icon.
: A gas generator from an Apollo Saturn V rocket's F-1 engine has gone from a display stand to the test stand for a series of hot fires this month. The part, which engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center refurbished in support of the development the Space Launch System, was sourced from an F-1 stored at the Huntsville, Ala. center and an engine obtained from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.