In "Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer," Jerry Ross reflects on his seven spaceflights to orbit on the space shuttle. Like his spacecraft, Ross is now retired but his desire to inspire interest in the space program continues on, especially for today's young people, as he shared with collectSPACE.com in an interview.
: Gene Cernan flew to space three times, to the moon twice, but the spacecraft he rode paled in comparison to the International Space Station, where he called Tuesday. "I'm envious, I wish I could be up there with you," Cernan told Kevin Ford, Expedition 34 commander. The last man to walk on the moon, Cernan made the ground to space call from NASA Mission Control in Houston. In addition to comparing elbow room between Cernan's Gemini and Ford's Soyuz, the commanders also spoke about inspiring and benefiting future generations.
: In a first for long-distance duets, CBC Music debuted on Friday the first original song to be performed simultaneously in space and on the ground. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is a member of the all-astronaut band Max Q, collaborated with Barenaked Ladies' frontman Ed Robertson to pen the song that the two then performed with the Wexford Gleeks youth choir. The song, called "I.S.S." ("Is Somebody Singing") is about an astronaut missing his loved ones on the Earth.
: Small toy company Papa Foxtrot describes its wooden and tin models as "for anyone who has ever swooned over a satellite." Their line of small spacecraft reimagine Earth orbiting sentinels as desktop ornaments, including NASA's new commercial freighters, SpaceX's Dragon and Orbital Science's Cygnus. Other satellites in the Papa Foxtrot series include Russia's Spektr-R radio telescope and the U.S. spysat ORS-1.
: A 2-year battle over the custody of miniature bibles flown to the moon was made public on the front page of the Houston Chronicle on Sunday. As the newspaper reported, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services has challenged "Apostles of Apollo" author Carol Mersch over the Apollo "First Lunar Bibles" she claims she was gifted with by Reverend John Stout, the founder of the Apollo Prayer League. The Stouts (John, 91, and his wife) are now wards of the state and the space-flown scriptures are being sought for their benefit.
: For a second year in a row, Nike Basketball's graphic and color designers have drawn inspiration from space exploration for its special collection of shoes made for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. Whereas last year's sneakers borrowed from astronauts' spacesuits, the 2013 line was sparked by Houston's space lineage and its tie to Mission Control.
: For at least the past four decades, a full-size model of a Mercury spacecraft has sat at the corner of Red Bluff Road and St. Augustine Avenue in Pasadena, Texas, located about 20 minutes from the Johnson Space Center. Sometime in the past few years, the capsule was repaired, restored and repainted, in the process gaining the logo of Friendship 7, John Glenn's capsule that he flew into orbit 51 years ago Wednesday.
NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex marked yet another milestone in the construction of its 90,000-square-foot, $100 million new home for space shuttle Atlantis by announcing the official name and visual identity for the exhibit, as well as the grand opening date of June 29. The logo will appear on monument signage at the entrance, on a variety of retail merchandise and on marketing and promotional materials.
: The second of NASA's contracted commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station is scheduled to lift off later this week. SpaceX will launch its third Dragon capsule to fly to the orbiting outpost to deliver and return crew supplies and equipment, including the first cargo carried in the spacecraft's exposed trunk. The flight is represented by two mission patches — one from the team at SpaceX and the other from NASA.
: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which is speeding its way toward a 2015 flyby of Pluto and its moons, has moved a step closer to landing on a U.S. postage stamp. The mission team reported Monday that its petition submitted last year to the postal service has been successful in earning a review by the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee, which will decide if the mission merits a stamp. The process can take up to three years, so it may not be until the probe reaches Pluto that news of a New Horizons stamp may become public.
: The U.S. House of Representatives Monday approved a resolution to rename the Dryden Flight Research Center, located in southern California, as the "Neil Armstrong Research Center" after the late astronaut. The bill also redesignates the surrounding test range to continue honoring prominent aeronautical engineer Hugh Dryden. The measure will now be referred to the Senate for consideration and passage.
: Dennis Tito, who in 2001 became the world's first "space tourist," said Wednesday that he plans to send a married couple on a fast, free-return mission to Mars in 2018. To plan the interplanetary roundtrip, Tito established the nonprofit Inspiration Mars Foundation, which will work with NASA and industry partners to select the spacecraft and crew for the 501-day mission. The flight takes advantage of a rare planetary alignment, leading to a targeted launch date of Jan. 5, 2018. Tito said he hopes to use the mission inspire the next generation of explorers.
: Launching Friday with SpaceX's 2nd NASA-contracted mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) is the first copy of Thirty Seconds To Mars single, "Up in the Air." Scheduled to arrive at the orbiting outpost 20 hours, 20 minutes, and 13 seconds after lifting off from Florida, the new song will debut worldwide March 18 as the band visits Mission Control in Houston. The single is flying aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule along with 1,200 pounds (540 kilograms) of science experiments and supplies.