: NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is now accepting exhibitor applications for its upcoming third annual space memorabilia show, to be held in collaboration with collectSPACE.com on September 15. Space collectors, dealers, museums, and related organizations are invited to exhibit and/or sell their space artifacts and collectibles. Visitors to the show may also attend presentations from special guest speakers (to be announced), and tour Glenn's space research facilities.
: Walter "Wally" Schirra, one of the original U.S. astronauts and the only person to fly Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, has passed away at the age of 84. Schirra made six orbits in his Sigma 7 spacecraft during the 1962 Mercury-Atlas 8 flight. He then commanded Gemini-Titan 6A with pilot Thomas Stafford, successfully rendezvousing with the Gemini 7 spacecraft. His third and final flight into space was on-board Apollo 7, commanding the first manned flight of the Apollo program. More
: The first annual Space Week broadcast by Discovery Communications' Science Channel begins Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. CT with the network's premiere of Space Station and Beyond, a new special that combines footage previously aired during the first HD live broadcast from space with new interviews to highlight the continuing human space exploration story. Also set to premiere this week are shows about NASA's return to the Moon (Base Camp Moon and Starship Orion), and movies about exploring the red planet (Roving Mars and The MarsUnderground). Space Week also includes previously aired Science Channel programs about the planets and the Sun.
: A fire at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama that was initially thought to have destroyed Apollo artifacts undergoing restoration, was less severe than had been first reported. A boilerplate command module and the instrument unit from the center's Saturn V rocket were in the process of being readied for display when sparks from a welding tool lit fire to some of the maintenance building's insulation. The two artifacts were feared damaged beyond repair. Today upon their inspection, a museum spokesman said that only the nose cone from the launch escape system was scorched and it could be restored. The museum plans to exhibit the artifacts in a new building now being built for the Saturn V.
: On Friday, NASA gave the 'go' for Atlantis to roll back out to Pad 39A after having repairs due to damage from hail. The space agency plans to launch the seven person STS-117 crew on or after June 8. Two weeks earlier and just under eight miles away, another liftoff is set to occur at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Opening to the public on May 25, the Shuttle Launch Experience was designed by NASA and former astronauts to deliver the most accurate recreation of what it feels to launch on the space shuttle. collectSPACE was privy to be among the first to tour the Experience as it enters its own final countdown to launch.
: The achievements of two Apollo astronauts are the focus of two new multimedia releases. Apollo 7's Walter Cunningham reads from his autobiography, The All-American Boys for a limited edition, autographed set that includes the 19 chapters on 22 CDs, available now. Meanwhile, Apollo 12's Alan Bean stars in a new short-format DVD from Jeffrey Roth, director of the award-winning feature documentary, The Wonder of it All.Alan Bean, Artist ~ Astronaut features the post-Apollo art created by the fourth moonwalker. Both the CD and DVD will be offered at next month's UACC astronaut autograph show to be hosted at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL.
: Baseball fans fond of space history are sure to be excited by the 2007 set of Topps "Co-Signers" cards, set for release on May 30. Randomly assorted amongst each box of 12 packs of cards (6 cards per pack) are single- and dual-signed "Moon Shots" featuring authentic astronaut autographs. Topps' checklist posted on their website identifies the "Shots" as including Buzz Aldrin, Bob Crippen, Scott Carpenter, Charles Duke and Al Worden, among others. In addition to "Solo" cards, dual "Moon Shots" are also signed by a home run slugger (e.g., New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez with Buzz Aldrin).
: Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. EDT Monday for the fifth annual auction held by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. This year's lots include scuba diving with Buzz Aldrin; a dinner party with Charles Duke; exploring Meteor Crater with Dick Gordon; and the chance to join Robert "Hoot" Gibson's pit crew at the Reno Air Races. More than 50 astronauts have given artifacts, autographs and memorabilia for the auction, as well as donated their time for experiences. Bidding opens online on May 31 and closes June 8, concluding with live bidding during the UACC show at Kennedy Space Center.
: If you're a fan of baseball and astronauts, this week's offers have been a triple play. First, Topps began marketing baseball cards co-signed by moonwalkers. Then came news that an Astros game with James Lovell was up for bids in the 5th annual Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's auction. And today, you have the chance to win tickets to the Brevard County Manatee's The Wonder of it All night, celebrating Jeff Roth's award-winning film about the 12 moonwalkers.
: Tapasya Das of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, has been named the winner of NASA's Space Pennant Design Challenge. Held in cooperation with AOL's kids service, KOL, and Mad Science, the contest asked students to promote the STS-118 shuttle flight or the Vision for Space Exploration by designing a pennant to fly to space on Endeavour this summer. Das combined both themes with a pennant titled Education 4 Exploration that depicts a shuttle launching from a book.
: The countdown reached zero today for the Shuttle Launch Experience as nearly 40 astronauts climbed on-board to be its first official crew. The $60 million attraction at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex delivers the public the unprecedented opportunity to feel what it's like to ride the space shuttle to orbit. The first crew of the real shuttle, John Young and Bob Crippen, appropriately led the group of shuttle flyers, along with Charlie Bolden, who serves as the 'in-flight' guide as guests ride the sim.
: Sotheby's upcoming "Important Watches" auction, to be held in New York on June 13, includes a pair of chronographs from the estate of Apollo 7 astronaut Donn Eisele. Both Speedmaster Professionals, one is the 18k gold watch gifted to Eisele and 27 of his fellow astronauts by Omega following the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The other is described as the chronograph worn by Eisele during his Apollo 7 mission, wherein lies a possible problem. The Smithsonian states they own the flown Speedmasters but is it flown? NASA documents list Eisele's mission-used watch with a serial number different than the one in Sotheby's online catalog.