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April 1, 2024

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

Optimus meets Artemis

: It sounds like it could be an April Fool's gag, but it is no joke: the moon rover being developed by JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Toyota can now transform into Optimus Prime. Takara Tomy and Hasbro, the toy companies behind the Transformers franchise, are now shipping a model of the "Lunar Cruiser" that can change into the leader of the Autobots. The $75 set faithfully reproduces the look of the JAXA and Toyota concept for a future astronaut transport.

April 5, 2024

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

Eclipse Sightings

: After Monday (April 8), the total number of people to have seen a solar eclipse (as viewable from Earth) from space will be 30. At the same time, just as many astronauts will be at events in the path of totality to help the public understand and enjoy the sight. Whether witnessing the eclipse from orbit or on the ground, here is a look at where many astronauts will be stationed.

April 5, 2024

/ 8:40 a.m. CT (1340 GMT)

Comic book booster

: As a kid, Cory Wood dreamt of creating her own comic book, but she had no idea her chance would come as the senior graphic designer for an aerospace company. In "Ignition!", Wood chronicles the origin story for United Launch Alliance's (ULA) new Vulcan heavy-lift rocket. As she laid out the book, Wood found that the booster wasn't the only superhero in the story; the ULA employees who made the rocket a success were central to the Vulcan's rise. Printed copies of "Ignition!" will be offered to the public soon; a digital version debuted Friday (Apr. 5).

April 8, 2024

/ 7:00 a.m. CT (1100 GMT)

Moon rocket money

: In an occurrence rarer than a total solar eclipse, the United States Mint on Monday (April 8) is releasing a coin with a moon rocket crossing its golden face. The new Alabama American Innovation $1 coin honors the Apollo Saturn V as an example of ingenuity and pays homage to the state that made it possible. Sales begin at 11 a.m. (CDT) for 25-coin rolls and 100-coin bags with dollars from either the Philadelphia or Delaware mints.

April 9, 2024

/ 12:15 p.m. CT (1715 GMT)

Go(ne) Delta

: The 389th and last rocket of its type, the final Delta is now history having launched a National Reconnaissance Office payload into space. The 16th Delta IV Heavy closed out the launch vehicle's legacy, which began with the Thor-Delta in 1960. United Launch Alliance (ULA) is replacing the Delta (and Atlas) rocket families with its newly-introduced Vulcan. Over the past 64 years, Delta rockets have lofted satellites, NASA probes and spacecraft.

April 9, 2024

/ 1:20 p.m. CT (1820 GMT)

Between Earth and the moon

: The seven astronauts and cosmonauts on board the International Space Station shared a unique vantage point for Monday's (April 8) solar eclipse. In addition to witnessing the moon cover 94 percent of the Sun at their closest approach to the path of totality, they also saw the moon's shadow moving across Earth, briefly darkening the towns and cities below.

April 9, 2024

/ 9:55 p.m. CT (0255 GMT Apr 10)

Vladimir Aksyonov, 1935-2024

: Soviet-era cosmonaut Vladimir Aksyonov traded in his refurbished spacecraft for a model "T" in the course of his two-mission career. Aksyonov, who died on Tuesday (April 9) at the age of 89, first lifted off on Soyuz 22, which used the Apollo-Soyuz backup capsule. His second launch was on the first crewed flight of the upgraded Soyuz T. In total, he logged almost 12 days in space while completing 189 orbits around Earth.

April 10, 2024

/ 9:15 p.m. CT (0215 GMT Apr 11)

First non-American on the moon

: A new agreement between the United States and Japan will see two JAXA crew members join future Artemis moon landing missions, and one become the first non-American to walk on the lunar surface. In return, JAXA will design and build a pressurized moon rover for use by NASA astronauts. The agreement does not state on what missions the Japanese astronauts will fly, but the rover is expected for Artemis VII.

April 11, 2024

/ 6:35 p.m. CT (2335 GMT)

In other words

: Before it was known as "Fly Me to the Moon" and Frank Sinatra's cover became associated with the Apollo program, the 1954 song was originally titled "In Other Words." In a way, that would be appropriate for the upcoming movie "Fly Me to the Moon," which while fictional, pulls from NASA's real-life campaign to market the moon landings. Opening July 12 in theaters, "Fly Me to the Moon" stars Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum.

April 12, 2024

/ 1:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)

'Final Flight'

: A new, four-part documentary airing on CNN looks back at the ill-fated last launch of NASA's first winged orbiter. "Space Shuttle Columbia: The Final Flight" features new interviews with the STS-107 astronauts' family members and the engineers who supported the crew from the ground. Co-produced by Mindhouse Productions and BBC, "The Final Flight" concludes on Sunday (Apr 14).

April 15, 2024

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

1:1 Webb

: After touring the world for more than a decade, the only full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope has been donated by Northrop Grumman to the Space Foundation. The aluminum and steel model, which weighs 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg), stands over three stories tall and has the same footprint as a tennis court, will be displayed along with a demo unit of one of the Webb's mirrors at the organization's Discovery Center in Colorado.

April 15, 2024

/ 9:45 p.m. CT (0245 GMT Apr 16)

It came from ISS

: The four-inch, 1.6-pound piece of metal debris that tore through the roof and floors of a Florida home last month was, in fact, from a cargo pallet jettisoned from the International Space Station, NASA confirmed on Monday (April 15). The melted and mangled stanchion had been used to mount batteries after a power upgrade. NASA will use the piece to refine its entry models.

April 17, 2024

/ 1:30 p.m. CT (1830 GMT)

From Happy Valley to Star City

: Apple TV+ has renewed the alternate space history drama "For All Mankind" for its fifth season and is launching a new spinoff, "Star City." Creators Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi are returning to lead both shows, which will continue to explore what might have happened if the Soviet Union landed on the moon first and the space race never ended. Season 5 of "For All Mankind" is expected to pick up back on Mars, while "Star City" will return to 1969 for a second, Soviet-sided look at the "For All Mankind" timeline.

April 19, 2024

/ 7:40 p.m. CT (0040 GMT Apr 20)

Muhammed Faris, 1951-2024

: Muhammed Faris was the first cosmonaut from Syria to fly into space. He died on Friday (April 19) at the age of 72. Faris launched aboard Soyuz TM-3 to the Mir space station as part of the Soviet Union's Interkosmos program. During his eight days in space, he observed Syria from orbit and noted the lack of political borders. Faris died in Türkiye where he and his family were living as refugees after fleeing the war in Syria.

April 22, 2024

/ 1:25 p.m. CT (1825 GMT)

The Hoppers

: The European Space Agency (ESA) has graduated a new astronaut class, now known as the Hoppers. Five Europeans and the first representative of the Australian Space Agency completed basic training and are now eligible for flight assignments to the International Space Station and destinations beyond. Selected in 2022, the Hoppers also debuted their class patch, which depicts the six astronauts bouncing on flag-adorned hopping toys.

April 23, 2024

/ 11:00 a.m. CT (1600 GMT)

Mercury 7 Astronaut

: Whether being used to take notes in class or signing a donation check, Retro 51's new Mercury 7 Astronaut pen is the perfect writing instrument to mark the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's 40th anniversary. Inspired by the silvery spacesuits worn by the organization's founders, the $68 Tornado-model rollerball is limited to 1,958 pieces, each topped with the Foundation's 40 Years logo and shipped in a silver commemorative tube.

April 25, 2024

/ 8:00 a.m. CT (1300 GMT)

Shenzhou-18 launches

: Chinese taikonauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu are now on their way to spending six months on the Tiangong space station after launching on the Shenzhou-18 spacecraft on Thursday (April 25). Flying with them are zebrafish and hornwort as part of China's first in-orbit aquatic ecosystem experiment. Ye, Li and Li will also conduct stem cell research on plants and perform spacewalks to install additional debris shields.

April 25, 2024

/ 8:00 a.m. CT (1300 GMT)

Lego SLS, Milky Way

: Lego has announced mid-May launch dates for two sets aimed at adult space fans. First, under the Lego Icons line, the new NASA Artemis Space Launch System reproduces the rocket and its mobile launch tower that will be used to fly astronauts to the moon. Then, the latest Lego Art kit is The Milky Way Galaxy, a 3D colorful mosaic of our neighborhood in space. The $259.99 and $199.99 sets (respectively) will debut for sale May 15.

April 26, 2024

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)

Artemis moon trees

: A year and a half after their seeds were flown to the moon and back on NASA's Artemis I mission, a literal forest of saplings are ready to be planted. NASA is beginning to notify the first wave of selected organizations that will raise the Artemis Moon Trees, using them as a means of outreach for their communities. These new natural monuments to exploration follow the trees that were grown from seeds carried on board Apollo 14 in 1971.

April 29, 2024

/ 10:00 a.m. CT (1500 GMT)

Two Space Collectors Collecting Space

: "I know it's a mouthful," says Jason Rubin, one of the two collectors behind the new podcast "Two Space Collectors Collecting Space." Wordiness aside, the inaugural installment of the bi-monthly show delivers on what the label says. Rubin and co-host Rich Jurek rely on their passion for their hobby and long-time friendship to fill their air space with engaging banter, a guest interview or soon, others "collecting space."

April 30, 2024

/ 6:25 p.m. CT (2325 GMT)

Mercury-Atlas 9 rises again

: The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday (April 30) debuted its vertical display of an Atlas D rocket restored to represent Gordon Cooper's 1963 ride to orbit. The new replica of Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA-9) now stands inside the Dayton, Ohio museum's silo-like missile gallery, where it will help inform visitors about the flight of then-U.S. Air Force Major Cooper and how NASA and the Air Force worked together.

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