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January 1, 2021

/ 9:15 a.m. CT (1515 GMT)

Preserve and protect

: U.S. companies and other entities working to fly to the moon with or for NASA are now legally prohibited from disturbing the Apollo lunar landing sites. The newly-enacted "One Small Step to Protect Human Heritage in Space Act" is the first U.S. law directed at preserving the hardware left on the moon 50 years ago.

January 5, 2021

/ 1:15 p.m. CT (1915 GMT)

Moonwatch made anew

: Omega debuted a new generation of its iconic Speedmaster on Tuesday (Jan. 5), retaining the watch's moon worn look while introducing a new movement capable of the highest precision levels. The new Moonwatch Professional timepieces carry on Omega's Apollo legacy, including being qualified for use on all NASA missions, and are now also certified Master Chronometers.

January 11, 2021

/ 5:45 p.m. CT (2345 GMT)

ISS power boost

: Boeing will augment the International Space Station with six new solar arrays to power the orbital complex's expanded research and commercial use for years to come. The more compact, but also more capable XTJ Prime solar panels will partially overlay the current arrays that have provided the station electricity for the past two decades. The new arrays will be launched in the trunks of SpaceX Dragon capsules starting this year.

January 14, 2021

/ 2:00 p.m. CT (2000 GMT)

After 'Apollo 11'

: In the summer of 1969, 50 years before millions of people would isolate themselves to protect against a pandemic, a trio of astronauts did the same to prevent the spread of "moon germs." The new short film "Apollo 11: Quarantine" tells the lesser-known story of what happened after the first moon landing. Set to debut in IMAX and stream on video-on-demand, "Quarantine" comes from the same team behind the 2019 documentary "Apollo 11."

January 14, 2021

/ 11:30 p.m. CT (0530 GMT Jan 15)

William Thornton, 1929-2021

: A twice flown NASA astronaut, William "Bill" Thornton has died at the age of 91. Thornton studied the ill-effects that microgravity has on the human body while serving as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger's STS-8 and STS-51B missions. On the ground, Thornton took part in Skylab and Spacelab simulations and invented tools to measure and counter the physiological impacts of spaceflight, including the treadmill that he and many other astronauts used aboard the shuttle.

January 15, 2021

/ 1:00 p.m. CT (1900 GMT)

'We came in peace'

: Apple TV+ released a new trailer for the second season of "For All Mankind" on Friday (Jan. 15), showing how the Cold War will heat up on the moon when the alternate space history series returns on Feb. 19. "We need to remind them of Apollo 11 – we came in peace for all mankind. We need to live up to that," warns astronaut Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) in the new trailer.

January 15, 2021

/ 4:55 p.m. CT (2255 GMT)

'Sun Science' stamps

: The United States Postal Service (USPS) will release this year a new set of ten different stamps celebrating the on-going study of our nearest star. The "Sun Science" postage stamps will feature colorful depictions of the Sun using the multi-wavelength images captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

January 16, 2021

/ 10:05 p.m. CT (0405 GMT Jan 17)

'Green Run' cuts off

: NASA fired up its first Space Launch System (SLS) core stage on Saturday (Jan. 16), but the 8-minute "Green Run" test shut down after only 60 seconds. The Boeing-built SLS core stage with its four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines still successfully ignited while mounted in the same test stand that was used more than 50 years ago to test Apollo-era Saturn V rocket stages at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

January 19, 2021

/ 10:00 a.m. CT (1600 GMT)

Demolishing MLP-2

: NASA is demolishing one of the three mobile launch platforms, or mobile launchers, that supported Apollo and space shuttle missions. MLP-2 (ML-2) was involved in 51 launches, including Apollo 14 and the final ill-fated flight of the space shuttle Challenger, 50 and 35 years ago this month, respectively. The decision to demolish MLP-2 was made to make space for a second new mobile launcher to support the Space Launch System.

January 22, 2021

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)

Lunar sample 76015,143

: A moon rock now sits on display adjacent to the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The lunar sample, number 76015,143, was chipped off a boulder during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. President Joe Biden requested the moon rock as a symbol of science and in recognition of earlier generations' accomplishments. The new display is the second Apollo moon rock that NASA has loaned for its long-term exhibit in the Oval Office.

January 26, 2021

/ 7:25 a.m. CT (1325 GMT)

Ax-1 crew named

: The first entirely private orbital space mission will be crewed by a trio of international investors and a former NASA astronaut. Axiom Space has revealed its four Ax-1 crew members, including American real estate entrepreneur Larry Connor, Canadian philanthropist Mark Pathy, Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe and veteran space explorer Michael Lopez-Alegria. The four will launch on a SpaceX Dragon to the International Space Station.

January 27, 2021

/ 5:00 a.m. CT (1100 GMT)

Hot Wheels Perseverance

: The next NASA rover to land on Mars is now touching down in toy stores. Mattel modeled its Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance rover after the car-sized robotic explorer that is on track for a Feb. 18 landing in Jezero Crater on Mars. The toy features reddish-brown "soil" stained tires and a moveable camera mast, as well as the NASA logo emblazoned on its undercarriage.

January 28, 2021

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)

Christa McAuliffe coin

: The United States Mint is marking the 35th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger tragedy, accepting orders for a new coin that memorializes the first "Teacher in Space" and her crewmates. A surcharge included in the sale of each Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Silver Dollar will help continue her mission by benefiting FIRST and its programs that engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

January 29, 2021

/ 1:15 p.m. CT (1915 GMT)

New cosmonaut candidates

: Roscosmos, Russia's federal space corporation, has announced four new cosmonaut candidates after a year-and-half-long search. The new recruits, who will need to undergo two years of basic training before they can qualify for spaceflight, are: Sergey Irtuganov, Harutyun Kiviryan, Alexander Kolyabin and Sergey Teteryatnikov. Roscosmos' corps currently has 30 active cosmonauts, including 29 men and one woman.

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