NASA on Monday (April 3) named the four astronauts who will fly on Artemis II, the first mission to the moon with a crew since Apollo. Targeted for launch in late 2024, the 10-day Artemis II mission will fly by the moon while testing the systems on NASA's Orion spacecraft. The crew includes commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialist Christina Koch of NASA and Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency.
From the moment they were announced on Monday (April 3), the Artemis II crew were set to break records and establish a number of firsts by flying by the moon. But as pilot Victor Glover said in an interview with collectSPACE, firsts matter and should be celebrated, but "seconds and thirds are more important."
The next Cygnus cargo craft to fly to the International Space Station will do so under the name of a late NASA astronaut who was lost with her crewmates on their way home 20 years ago. Northrop Grumman is honoring Laurel Clark as the namesake for its NG-19 resupply launch. The "S.S. Laurel Clark" is the third Cygnus to memorialize an STS-107 crew member after the S.S. Rick Husband (OA-6) and Kalpana Chawla (NG-14).
Jeannie Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, is the recipient of NASA's Exceptional Public Achievement Medal for her role in launching Snoopy to the moon. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson presented Schulz with the honor at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts hours after getting a good look at the custom-made astronaut Snoopy doll that flew on the Artemis I lunar orbit mission. "She is helping NASA inspire a new generation of explorers and scientists," said Nelson.
Polish LEGO fan Jan Woźnica was inspired by sci-fi posters when he set about to design his "Tales of the Space Age," the next space-themed LEGO Ideas set coming out in May. As revealed by the toy company on Wednesday (April 12), the 688-piece set creates four art vignettes depicting various scenes from humanity's ongoing pursuit to find our place in the cosmos.
More than 50 years since NASA engineers had to figure out how to fit a square carbon dioxide scrubber to a circular opening on the Apollo 13 spacecraft, the agency is testing the latest in air filtration systems on board the International Space Station with an eye on improving the life support on future Artemis missions to the moon and Mars. Among the technologies in use is a first-of-its-kind magnetic bearing air blower provided to NASA by Calnetix Technologies.
Arianespace launched its penultimate Ariane 5 on Friday (April 14), lofting JUICE, or Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, for the European Space Agency (ESA). The probe will take eight years to reach the giant planet, but once there will seek out habitable environments on the moons Callisto, Europa and Ganymede. After 35 fly-bys, JUICE will become the first spacecraft to orbit a moon (Ganymede) other than Earth's in December 2034.
The Lone Star Flight Museum, located at Ellington Airport in Houston, opened its "Space Gallery" to the public on Friday (April 14). The exhibit brings together the museum's space shuttle training devices with a planetary rover and astronaut artifacts. The permanent gallery is also changing the Lone Star's focus to extend from Texas aviation to the evolution of astronautics.
As SpaceX was scrubbing its first attempt at a fully-integrated Starship and Super Heavy flight test on Monday (April 17), the company launched pre-sales for two new spacecraft models. SpaceX's online shop is now taking orders for a 1:150 chrome desktop display or, if you prefer that your models be functional, a new "Starship Torch" that trades the vehicle's Raptor engines for a lighter.
Advanced Space, the Colorado-based company operating the CAPSTONE CubeSat orbiting the moon, is celebrating its success with a new drink from Stem Ciders of Denver. Like its namesake, CAPSTONE Cider is an experiment: the satellite is testing a new orbit for NASA's future Gateway platform, while the cider is an attempt at a hoppy raspberry lemon punch-like alcoholic beverage that captures the profile of a Hazy IPA.
SpaceX's sky-scraping Super Heavy and Starship took flight together for the first time on Thursday (April 20), lifting off on a fully-integrated test flight from the company's Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas. The towering stack, which is now the tallest and most powerful rocket ever launched, cleared the pad, but four minutes later failed to separate as planned, leading to a "rapid unscheduled disassembly" or explosion mid-air.
It took less than a day for the first social media posts to show possible washed-up debris from the first test flight of SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle. SpaceX has set up a hotline for finders to report where they come across pieces of the world's tallest and most powerful rocket, but warns that the public should not "attempt to handle or retrieve the debris."
It may not be the first film to feature scenes shot in space, but "Vyzov" (or "The Challenge") was the first at Russia's box office over its opening weekend. In the movie, Yulia Peresild plays a surgeon who is launched on an emergency trip to the International Space Station. In reality, Peresild and director Klim Shipenko flew to the station in 2021 to film with the cosmonauts, including Anton Shkaplerov, Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov.
Here is your chance to own a small piece of a plane that NASA flew to test its Gemini and Apollo ground stations. MotoArt on Thursday (April 27) is releasing its C-121G "Super Constellation" PlaneTags made from the genuine skin of NASA 420, an aircraft flown as a stand-in for spacecraft in orbit and on their way to and from the moon. Limited to 2250 pieces, the NASA 420 tags begin at $75 each, depending on their paint or metal finish.
Expedition 69 flight engineer Sultan AlNeyadi has become the first Arab to perform a spacewalk. AlNeyadi joined NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen on a 7 hour and one minute extravehicular activity that successfully prepared the International Space Station for new solar arrays but was stymied by a broken bolt when trying to retrieve an antenna unit. The spacewalk on Friday (April 28) added the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the 11 other nations that have had citizens go out on spacewalks.