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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).




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