: The only surviving Saturn V made from all flight ready components is in need of your help. For 27 years, it has sat outside NASA's Johnson Space Center as the ultimate lawn ornament. Houston's ozone-rich, humid air has left the mighty moon rocket in great need of restoration. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is set to begin work next week, however $540,000 must be raised to fund the completion of this conservation effort. Every space history enthusiast can help save the JSC Saturn V by making a donation now.
: To be released into IMAX theaters in 2005, Magnificent Desolation will take moviegoers to the Moon in 3-D and allow them to walk side-by-side with the Apollo astronauts on their historic journeys. Actor Tom Hanks, who first announced the project in 2002, will co-produce. Today, IMAX said that production had begun and Lockheed Martin will sponsor the 45-minute, large-format film. In a separate release, NASA announced it would be collaborating with Hanks.
: In connection with their upcoming Space Exploration auction, Swann Galleries will host a private preview and evening reception on March 25, with Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham. With 19 lots consigned to the sale including his PPK (Personal Preference Kit) bag, Cunningham will first address the changes within NASA between "then and now" before autographing copies of his autobiography.
: The National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the museum's highest honor, was awarded yesterday to Neil Armstrong for Lifetime Achievement and to the the military satellite system Milstar team for Current Achievement during a private ceremony held at the museum's Washington building.
: NASA has posted to its spaceflight website the revised design for the STS-114 "Return To Flight" mission insignia. The emblem has retained the general shape and appearance of the version released prior to the loss of Columbia, but incorporates elements of the STS-107 insignia, in particular the seven stars of constellation Columba (the dove).
: The autograph collection of Harold H. Hill, a biomedical admin who served the Gemini, Apollo, and early Shuttle programs, was sold to the highest bidders today on 28 lots through buySPACE and Astro-Auction.com. Watch for more of Hill's collection to be offered for sale, including flown artifacts, rare patches and decals, recovery ship covers, badges and passes.
: The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) have for the past twelve years used their website to publish resources for the internet and space community. Last Friday, SEDS.org suffered a "hacker" attack of unknown origin and extent and it is presently "crashed" and off-line. Though they expect to eventually recover from this setback, SEDS has set a goal of raising funds to upgrade the hardware used to run their website. Your donation is needed now.
: Dutch artist Luc van den Abeelen shared that his artwork has been chosen by the Soyuz TMA-4 crew as their upcoming April mission's insignia. Luc depicted the crew's Soyuz spacecraft approaching the space station, which is shown in silhouette against the Earth's horizon and rising sun. Fincke, Padalka and Kuipers will wear embroidered versions of Luc's design produced by Aviation Patch Supplies in the Netherlands and will be offered for sale through spacepatches.info.
: A delegation of former and active cosmonauts lead by Alexei Leonov are visiting today the birthplace of Yuri Gagarin to mark what would have been his 70th birthday. As called for by tradition, they will lay flowers at a monument to Gagarin's parents and will drink from a well near his boyhood home, reports RIA Novosti.
: Attendees to the Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on May 1, will have to choose with their ticket purchase to either join four moonwalkers for brunch or share lunch with three Mercury astronauts. Eugene Cernan, Charles Duke, Edgar Mitchell and John Young will eat with visitors at 9:30am and then at 11:30 Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper and Walter Schirra will dine with attendees. Both groups of astronauts will then convene at 2:00pm to honor the 2004 class of inductees.
: Nancy Conrad has partnered with Howard Klauser (screenwriter, "Space Cowboys") to author the biography of her late husband, astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad. Rocketman (Penguin Books, June 2005) will tell "of a man, a flesh and blood, beer-drinking, gap-tooth, five-foot-nothing man who could have easily been the guy down the street, except for one small detail -- this man could fly an airplane like a bat outta hell. And fly a rocket even better," described Nancy Conrad in Variety.
: Cosmonauts Viktor Gorbatko, Viktor Savinykh and Anatoly Solovyov are among 100 stamp collectors displaying today at the all-Russian philatelic exhibition "Ad Astra 2004" in Smolensk, RIA Novosti reports. The exhibition, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's birth, also includes art by cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Vladimir Dzhanibekov.
: The catalog for Regency-Superior's April 17th Stamps & Space Memorabilia auction is now online. Of the 2054 lots to be offered in Beverly Hills, Calif., 410 fall under the Space section, spanning Satellites to the International Space Station, and Autographs to Space Covers.
: Dr. William H. Pickering, former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), passed away Monday of pneumonia at age 93. Known affectionately as "Mr. JPL," Pickering led the effort to launch the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1 and the first robotic missions to the Moon and the planets.
: Spacepatches.info posted today a first look at the Expedition Nine crew insignia that Gennady Padalka and Mike Fincke will wear on their mission to the International Space Station. The emblem depicts a Soyuz rocket and a stylized eagle that together form the Roman numeral 'IX' (9), surrounded by the crew's Soyuz TMA capsule, the ISS with shuttle, the astronaut symbol, national flags, the Moon and Mars.
: The Space Topic Study Unit's "Project Apollo Space Cover Catalog" is a 272-page illustrated guide to the philatelic cachets and cancellations of the lunar landing program. Written by Paul Bulver ("Suspect Space Cover Handbook"), the catalog is offered on CD and includes profiles of 178 Apollo team members, mission summaries and autograph examples.
: The United States Mint has tentatively set Wednesday, April 7th as the release date for Florida's design in its ten-year 50 State Quarters Program. A ceremony will be held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to officially unveil the 25-cent piece, which features a Spanish Galleon and a Space Shuttle landing on its reverse. More information about the event and the quarter's release will be posted as it is confirmed.
: Panoramic print producer Moonpans.com has introduced the first in a new series of "Moonwalker Signed Prints". Available in two editions, 40x8" or 23x8", Moonpans' Apollo 14 panorama is offered autographed by Edgar Mitchell in silver. Future signed prints will feature the signatures of David Scott (Apollo 15) and Charles Duke (Apollo 16).
: Due to increasing environmental concerns, NASA will begin demolition today of the last remaining Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT) segments. The $2 million disposal effort was halted since February as the Space Restoration Society (SRS) sought to raise $40 million for the tower's restoration.
: Swann Galleries' upcoming auction has inspired several newspapers this week to devote print space to space memorabilia. Wednesday, Frank Roylance with the Baltimore Sun contributed an article ("A Charitable Mission") about fallen astronauts' artifacts. Today in the Washington Post, Annie Groer interviews Swann's Gregg Linebaugh, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and collectors Alan Ladwig and Rick Tumlinson ("For Space Memorabilia, All Systems Go"). Later this week, Florida Today's Chris Kridler is expected to file a report about the space memorabilia hobby as well.
: Though all seven of the Mercury astronauts penned or contributed to books, only five published their own life stories. For Gus Grissom, his tragic death cut short his chance to write his memoirs. For Alan Shepard, a desire for privacy rather than a lack of opportunity saw to his absent an autobiography. Neal Thompson, a veteran journalist set to tell Shepard's story six years ago; Light This Candle, released this week, is the result. Thompson recently talked with collectSPACE about his book and its focus, the first American in space.
: Swann Galleries second annual space memorabilia auction begins at 2:00pm today in New York. collectSPACE will report on the results, less two planned lots, early next week. The flight suit and helmet that David Brown wore to train for his ill-fated Columbia mission were to have been sold to raise funds for charity but were withdrawn reportedly due to NASA asserting owernship. The removal of the two lots came too late to be mentioned in today's Florida Today article ("Change spurs space interest") which reports on the hobby and market for space memorabilia.
: Steven Belasco's $16,000 bid at yesterday's space memorabilia auction hosted by Swann Galleries may have gone unnoticed by reporters had he not been a lawyer for Colgate and had his bid not been for a toothbrush. Yet that is exactly what happened, as appears in the New York Post ("A 16G Brush With History") and Newsday ("The Right Stuff Goes On Sale"). Belasco's bids and other sale highlights are also the focus for our auction update ("Astronaut's Toothbrush Highlights Auction").
: Swann Galleries has provided the preliminary results for their Space Memorabilia sale held this past Saturday in New York, as well as a list of the top 20 performing lots. Of the 333 lots offered by Swann, 211 sold for a total of $443,411 ($385,575 Hammer).
: Yesterday, the U.S. Mint began sales through its website of two-roll sets and bags filled with the new Space Shuttle-adorned Florida state quarter. On April 7, public ceremonies at Kennedy Space Center and the Castillo de San Marcos will officially unveil the design as it enters circulation.