May 2, 2013 / 1:15 p.m. CT (1815 GMT) Canadarm on display: The space shuttle's original robotic arm, the Canadarm that flew on the second mission of the now-retired 30-year NASA program, was unveiled on public display on Thursday at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. One of the five arms built for the shuttle, the Canadarm now on exhibit flew aboard all five NASA orbiters in the course of its 23 missions. Its last flight was aboard the final mission of Endeavour, when it had a hand, literally, in completing the assembly of the International Space Station. The original Canadarm is the second to go on display; the Smithsonian exhibits another.
May 2, 2013 / 5:40 p.m. CT (2240 GMT) The Shuttle and 747 Carrier: Space Center Houston on Thursday accepted from NASA the title to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) NASA 905, the original modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet that flew the space shuttles cross-country after they returned from space and later delivered them to their museum homes. The official visitor center for Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston announced plans to mount its full-size space shuttle mockup atop the historic aircraft for a new $12 million outdoor exhibit, "The Shuttle and 747 Carrier," to open to the public in 2015.
May 6, 2013 / 7:00 a.m. CT (1200 GMT) Jump into Red Bull Stratos: Space Center Houston is now hosting the "world premiere" of the Red Bull Stratos suit and capsule that Felix Baumgartner used to break the speed of sound while free falling from 24 miles high last October. In addition to the space jump's artifacts, the "Mission to the Edge of Space" exhibition uses iPads and video displays to introduce visitors to the science behind the record-setting supersonic, stratospheric skydive.
May 6, 2013 / 3:20 p.m. CT (2020 GMT) Enterprise's exhibit reopening: The Space Shuttle Pavilion, housing NASA's prototype Enterprise, the original orbiter that paved the way for America's successful space shuttle program, is set to reopen to the public July 10 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. The new exhibit, which replaces the structure destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, is now being erected around Enterprise and will be completed over the coming weeks.
May 7, 2013 / 8:20 p.m. CT (0120 GMT May 8) Buzz Aldrin's 'Mission to Mars': Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin released his eighth book Tuesday. After three biographies, two sci-fi novels and a pair of books for kids, the second man to walk on the moon turned his attention to the Red Planet in "Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration." To share his "unified space vision" and promote the book, Aldrin launched on a coast-to-coast tour, beginning in New York City. Over the summer, Aldrin will take his message to Washington, DC, San Diego, his current home in L.A. and his hometown in Montclair, NJ.
May 8, 2013 / 9:15 p.m. CT (0215 GMT May 9) National tribute to Sally Ride: "Sally Ride: A Lifetime of Accomplishment, A Champion of Science Literacy," a national tribute to the United States' first woman in space, will be held May 20 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Presented by Sally Ride Science, the company Ride founded to motivate girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology, in collaboration with NASA, the event will bring together journalist Maria Shriver, tennis legend Billie Jean King and Grammy award winning singer Patti Austin.
May 9, 2013 / 10:00 p.m. CT (0300 GMT May 10) Don't. Let. Go.: In the first trailer for director Alfonso Cuarón's new film "Gravity," posted online Thursday night, viewers get their first look at George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed. The film, which will be released in 3D, 2D and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures on Oct. 4, follows Clooney's Matt Kowalsky, a veteran commander flying his final mission, and Bullock's Dr. Ryan Stone, first-time flyer and medical engineer, as they realize their "only way home may be to go further out into the expanse of space."
May 11, 2013 / 6:45 a.m. CT (1145 GMT) Unexpected EVA: The first time that NASA astronauts made an unplanned spacewalk, it was an attempt to deploy a satellite from the space shuttle in 1985. Nearly three decades later, in what is still considered a rare event, Saturday's unexpected extravehicular activity (EVA) paired International Space Station crew members Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy in an effort to find and fix a coolant leak from the outpost's electricity-routing power channels.
May 12, 2013 / 2:00 a.m. CT (0700 GMT) Opening Atlantis' bay doors: The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is continuing to move forward with its preparations for the June 29 public opening of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. This past week, the orbiter's two 60 foot long payload bay doors were opened, revealing the cargo hold that deployed robotic probes to the planets, sent satellites into Earth orbit and delivered components to help assemble the International Space Station (ISS).
May 13, 2013 / 11:45 p.m. CT (0445 GMT May 14) Soyuz TMA-07M lands: Three members of the International Space Station's Expedition 35 crew undocked from the orbiting outpost and returned to Earth Monday, wrapping up almost five months in space. The departure marked the beginning of Expedition 36. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the space station, together with Roscosmos cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Tom Marshburn of NASA touched down on Soyuz TMA-07M at 9:31 p.m. CDT, southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
May 14, 2013 / 9:00 a.m. CT (1400 GMT) Skylab at 40: Skylab, America's first space station, launched 40 years ago Tuesday and provided the U.S. with its first experience at maintaining a long duration human presence in space. Two of the orbital workshop's nine crew members, Owen Garriott and Jerry Car, helped NASA commemorate the anniversary on Monday at a roundtable discussion about Skylab's legacy. Kevin Ford, who landed in March after four months aboard the International Space Station, credited Skylab for laying the foundation on which the ISS was built and, on behalf of NASA, presented Carr and Garriott with flags marking 40 years of life off Earth.
May 14, 2013 / 4:50 p.m. CT (2150 GMT) Apollo F-1 Conservation tour: The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center will launch public tours of its SpaceWorks Observation Gallery on May 24, featuring the Apollo F-1 Conservation Project. Commissioned by the Bezos Expeditions F-1 Recovery Project, the new tour will give visitors a clear view of conservators as they preserve the mammoth engine parts that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos salvaged from the sea floor in March. Tickets are required and the Cosmosphere recommends advance reservations.
May 16, 2013 / 8:05 a.m. CT (1305 GMT) Shuttle(craft): The original prop shuttlecraft used to film "Star Trek" in 1966 is now being restored by fans for display at Space Center Houston, which serves as the official visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center. If the "Galileo" might seem better suited for a sci-fi museum, consider the somewhat-widely spread suggestion that Star Trek's use of the term "shuttlecraft" led to NASA using the name "space shuttle" for its reusable orbiters. But is this a case of life imitating art, or did the early proposals for real manned spaceflight give rise to Star Trek's shuttlecraft?
May 17, 2013 / 10:30 p.m. CT (0330 GMT May 18) Auction's Apollo adjustments: RR Auction is currently accepting bids through Thursday (May 23) on some 800 lots of space history memorabilia, less three planned pieces. The rotation hand controller, or joystick, from the Apollo 11's command module, the original recording of Neil Armstrong's heartbeat at the moment he stepped onto the lunar surface and a tool kit from the final manned mission to the moon have been withdrawn from the auction to give NASA the time to research the items' ownership history.
May 18, 2013 / 8:30 p.m. CT (0130 GMT May 19) Rolling record: While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited the moon for three days in December 1972, they drove the lunar rover 22.2 statute miles (35.7 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any U.S. vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until this past Thursday. The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity received confirmation Thursday that the rover rolled past the U.S. off-planet road trip record and was within a multi-week drive of beating the international record set by a Soviet lunar rover in 1973.
May 20, 2013 / 10:00 a.m. CT (1500 GMT) Pad for rent: NASA announced Friday it will begin seeking proposals for the commercial use of Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A in Florida. Use of the pad by industry is hoped to maintain the historic complex while encouraging commercial space activities along the Space Coast. Launch Pad 39A was originally designed to support the Apollo program and was later modified to launch space shuttles. Ninety-two rockets (12 Saturn V boosters and 80 shuttles) launched from 39A between 1967 and 2011.
May 21, 2013 / 3:00 a.m. CT (0800 GMT) First look at F-1s: Before the public is let in on Friday, take a first look at the historic F-1 engines now being conserved at the Kansas Cosmosphere's SpaceWorks facility. Raised off the seafloor by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' expedition team, the Saturn V first stage engines are being stabilized, preserved and documented before they move to museums for exhibit. The Cosmosphere's new observation gallery provides an up-close view of conservators as they work to conserve the F-1 engines for future generations.
May 22, 2013 / 2:35 p.m. CT (1935 GMT) Sally Ride awarded highest honor: NASA and the White House celebrated the life and legacy of Sally Ride on Monday as part of a national tribute held for the first U.S. woman to fly in space. President Obama announced Ride will be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, later this year. NASA further paid tribute by naming a new internship program in Ride's name and renaming a camera on board the International Space Station the Sally Ride EarthKAM.
May 24, 2013 / 1:45 a.m. CT (0645 GMT) Fashioning Apollo into a movie: Nicholas de Monchaux's book "Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo" (MIT Press, 2011) tells the real story of how International Latex Corporation (ILC), better known by its consumer brand for bras and girdles "Playtex," came to produce the spacesuit worn by the Apollo astronauts on the moon. De Monchaux's tale of the bra makers' lunar legacy is now being adapted into a movie for Warner Bros. by screenwriter Richard Cordiner.
May 28, 2013 / 12:30 p.m. CT (1730 GMT) Collecting space for fun and profit: Sitting opposite the astronauts and space artists at this past weekend's Spacefest convention in Tucson, Arizona were 'space rock stars' of a different type: meteorites. Displayed for sale were a selection of lunar, Martian and asteroid samples, all delivered to Earth by gravity. With companies now looking to commercially mine the asteroids for their resources, is the meteorite market large enough to justify returning rock samples for collectors to buy and scientists to study?
May 28, 2013 / 9:55 p.m. CT (0255 GMT May 29) Soyuz TMA-09M launches, docks: Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency arrived Tuesday night at the International Space Station (ISS), less than six hours after their launch aboard Soyuz TMA-09M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. As members of the 36th and 37th expedition crews, the trio, over the next five months, will oversee the arrival of four cargo craft, as well as perform as many as six spacewalks and numerous science experiments. The 35th Soyuz to fly to the station, TMA-09M was only the second to follow the expedited four orbit rendezvous for a same-day launch and docking.
May 29, 2013 / 12:00 p.m. CT (1700 GMT) 'Space Selfies' for space scope: Planetary Resources, the commercial asteroid mining company, launched a campaign Wednesday to raise $1 million for the world's first crowd-funded space telescope and on-orbit "photo booth." Announced at The Museum in Flight in Seattle, the company's Kickstarter campaign offers supporters "Space Selfie" photos of images sent up to space and the chance to give students, researchers and the public time pointing the Arkyd scope at astronomical targets of their choice.
May 31, 2013 / 12:30 p.m. CT (1730 GMT) Space shuttle home gets a pickup: Toyota on Friday donated the $401,300 it raised for the California Science Center's exhibit of the retired space shuttle Endeavour, just as the company's Tundra pickup truck used to tow the orbiter last October was raised for the first time by the science center's "Giant Lever" exhibit. Garrett Reisman, a former NASA astronaut who rode inside the Tundra during its Endeavour tow, was the first to demonstrate the power of leverage using the truck's new educational display.